Short takes: Hawks go cold, blow double-digit lead in Game 1

Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver walk leave court after Hawks blew a 12-point lead in loss to Washington. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver walk leave court after Hawks blew a 12-point lead in loss to Washington. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver walk leave court after Hawks blew a 12-point lead in loss to Washington. (Curtis Compton, AJC)

The Hawks’ opened the second round of the playoffs with a 104-98 loss to the Washington Wizards. The game column will be posted soon on MyAJC.com. Until then, here are my three “short takes” on the game:

1. Failing to buck history: Here we go again? Sunday’s loss came in the first game of potentially a seven-game series. But no Hawks’ fan can ignore history. The franchise hasn’t won a second-round series since it was based in St. Louis and won the NBA title in 1958 (in those days, only four teams made the playoffs and the finals were the second round). Since moving to Atlanta, the Hawks are 0-13 in second-round series and now 15-53 in second-round games. This was a game they let get away, having held double-digit leads, including 12 points (65-53) early in the third quarter. But they scored fewer points in the second half (35) than they did in the first quarter (37). That kind of fizzle doesn’t create great foreshadowing.

2. Going cold: Some of the post-game narrative was that the Hawks settled for too many outside shots, which is true. But the fact remains that they missed a number of open jumpers they could have easily hit and blown up that narrative. They made 14 of 22 shots (64 percent) in the first quarter but only 22 of 76 (29 percent) the rest of the game, and it wasn’t because of great pressure defense by the Wizards. DeMarre Carroll had a 21-point first half, three points in the second. The team hit 9 of 17 three-point attempts in the first half, 4 of 21 in the second. “You can’t scored 35 points in the second half and beat a team like that,” Carroll said. Actually, you can’t score 35 points in the second half and beat almost any team.

3. Problem 1: Bradley Beal: The Wizards’ guard was the player of the game, finishing with 28 points and returning after a bad ankle sprain in the fourth quarter when he stepped on Al Horford’s foot. So coach Mike Budenholzer’s first defensive adjustment may have to focus on what do with the Beal-Kyle Korver matchup on defense. Beal’s biggest concern coming into the series was neutralizing guard John Wall and Washington’s fastbreak. But that wasn’t an issue in Game 1. The Wizards scored on 14 fastbreak points (the Hawks’ 22) and the Hawks held their own in the rebounding department (Washington 54-52). There actually was a lot of things for the Hawks to be happy about — well, except their shooting and the result.

Recent ramblings
— MyAJC: Teague is Hawks’ key to going deep in playoffs
— AJC: No shortage of stars but Hawks’ clincher started with Teague
— MyAJC: Finally, the good Hawks show up for series clincher
— AJC: LIVE: Hawks hope to finally close out Brooklyn
— AJC: On Falcons’ draft, trading up, Bruce Irvin and Gurley question
— MyAJC: Dan Quinn determined to fix pass rush after past Falcons’ whiffs
— MyAJC: Hawks’ regular-season afterglow is long gone
— MyAJC: Hawks being visited by ghosts of playoffs past
— AJC: Short takes: Hawks seem to have lost their cool, shooting touch
— MyAJC: Hawks’ Horford is coming up short against Nets’ Lopez
— AJC: Short takes: Hawks off-target, lose and give Nets hope
— 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

66 comments
Atlanta Man's Peachtree
Atlanta Man's Peachtree

Hey, Sgt. Schultz...Is there any chance that instead of your constant, nay saying, blathering negativity of " this is destiny, the Hawks just can't handle it," that there might be other reasons for the loss. Can't you for once engage in some critical thinking, (that is when people factor in other ideas, evidence and viewpoints) and look beyond the tip of your pen and think, "Hey, do you think maybe the team was tired from the Brooklyn series?" . Instead we get the usual Schultz "I zee nuzink, I zeee nuzink but my own narrow point of view." Come on, you can do better Sarge, I know it. Go Hawks. 

Jakk
Jakk

It's all good. We will win Tuesday and take this series in 6.

RonRoberts
RonRoberts

Good grief; calm down.  

The game went just about EXACTLY the way it was destined to, based on rest.

The Wizards looked rusty, from inactivity, in the first half; the Hawks look worn out, from playing just 36 hours prior, in the second.  It was obvious; their legs went out from under 'em, explaining why so many shots fell short.  

Now that that's out of the way, the rest of the series will be more indicative of which team is superior.  Game two is a must-win for Atlanta.  They'll steal one in DC if they're rested enough to win Game two Tuesday, night.  And they should be.  They'll be as rested as Washington.  

Pama123
Pama123

@RonRoberts LA Clipper went 7 gm series with the spurs, 1-1/2 day off, went to Houston and beat them by 16 pts in gm 1 of series, so lets don't start trying to use excuses for this team, this is the playoffs, and coach Bud is going to have to coach better, and the players are going to have to play better. Period!

tmc
tmc

i find it ironic that their campaigne slogan is "True to Atlanta".

And their coach is not being true to what he did in the regular season.


We wore teams out running and substituting constantly. I can't tell you how many times the Hawks opponents looked gassed like the Hawks did yesterday. Bud has the formula, but he is not being true to it.

RUN & SUB coach and we will win any series!


Columbus68
Columbus68

I think they were just tired in the 2nd half

Pama123
Pama123

@Columbus68 Please stop the EXCUSES, the hawks loss, because they did not execute in the last 5 mins of game.

GetontheGusBus
GetontheGusBus

Don't make since we had to play and Chicago & Cleveland get another day of rest.

afx
afx

agree with everyone saying that main reason for this lose Hawks tied legs after difficult Brooklyn serious and short rest. they been outhustled, usually going other way if Hawks is fresh. now if we lose tomorrow it's fishing time coming. 

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

TEAGUE, KORVER, CARROLL, MILLSAP, HORFORD


SCHRODER, BAZEMOORE, SCOTT, MOOSE, PERO


SHOULD BE 10MAN ROTATION


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Coach Bud is not doing the things that made the Hawks.


Hawks are build off a deep rotation and letting the entire team feed off each other energy, when starters are playing bad the bench pick things up, then starters follow the same energy, this what happen when your starters go cold and you continue to play them longer, why not coach Hawks like he did doing the 19 game winning streak, play your bench and keep the entire team involve, Moose is a much better player than Pero, but playing him at PF with Pero make the Hawks stronger.


COACH BUD MUST KEEP HIS 10MAN ROTATION ROLLING.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

This team was obviously tired so why not play more of the bench?  Pero is a liability period, I'd rather see Mike Scott as the 6th man and way more of Shelvin Mack and Muscala.  I agree with some of the earlier posts...Bud is getting away from what worked during the season.  Play everybody

Clifford James
Clifford James

I believe the Wizards have won all the games they're gonna win! Hawks in 5!

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

Play Mike Scott more and let him get in rhythm. He was lights out last year in the playoffs coming off the bench.

Bazemore doesn't have much of a jump shot. With Baemore and Antic in at the same time the offense stagnates.

The bench was a big reason the Hawks won 60 games. They will be needed if the Hawks are to advance to the

conference finals and beyond.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Not to change the subject but......Who was that Chump w/Hubie Brown. Sharing the Hawks Dirty Laundry with the National Audience.  Classy.

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

They were obviously tired in the 4th. Stopped passing the ball and began only making outside attempts at the basket.

These guys will bounce back. Remember game 6 in Brooklyn?

Relgin
Relgin

To be fair, which the NBA could care less, the Hawks needed another day off. But, the NBA is all about money, and with the Cavs-Bulls rested and ready to play, they had the Hawks play Sunday with only one day of rest. No sense to me, but they never have cared about the Hawks, the only thing they care about is money and how many people watch a series.

tmc
tmc

I know the Hawks played in Brooklyn til late friday. and i understand they were gassed in the 2nd half sunday...

But along w/ that, the reason they are getting gassed in the playoffs is because coach Bud is not doing what he did so well in the regular season. RUN A LOT & SUBSTITUTE A LOT. 

So the starters are playing much more minutes in bunches and becoming less effective. It showed up against a bad Nets team, but didn't matter much. Game 1 vs. the Wiz it was very apparent. Dennis Schruder played 6:20 the entire 2nd half in one stint (last 3:39 of 3rd qtr & first 2:41 of 4th qtr). First half: 3-5, 2 assts, 2 reb, 7 pts. 2nd half: 1-3, 2 assts, 1 reb, 2pts. (total: 4-7 3 rebs, 4 assts, 9pts, 1 TO, 1 PF)

I bet he wasn't tired. I bet Mike Scott, Kent Bazemore, Mike Muscala (DNP) and Sheldon Mack weren't tired.

They were all used the entire year and delivered to keep the points coming and run the hello out of the other team. 

So far in the playoffs we are not playing the same way as the regular season and the results are NOT the same either!

Come on coach Bud, don't nutt-up and coach differently in the playoffs! We've seen that for decades with poor results.

hardworkinman
hardworkinman

Relax folks. Hawks were playing on tired legs. Wizards were well rested. Hawks will even it in game 2.

BobDawg
BobDawg

@hardworkinman Well said.. No Worries… Bring on game 2 and then a nice rest until the 3rd game on Saturday. 

BeastOPS
BeastOPS

@hardworkinman But with that logic, shouldn't the Wizards STILL be more rested having played only one game in the last several days?

SouthGeorgiaStrong
SouthGeorgiaStrong

Hawks just passed up too many layups to kick it back out, Horford still taking stupid shots. They are forgetting their roles. I mean a 3 Horford. Washington took it from there.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

you all keep remembering they missed a golden opportunity to shore up ther bench.but what did they say, we have the best record in basketball, we don't need anybody." 

Wilbo
Wilbo

@SomewherenSGa


Nor did we expect an Important player to do something as freaking stupid as to interfere in a police action where there had been a stabbing.

itsslomotionbaby
itsslomotionbaby

what I don't understand is why is coach bud acting like the bench has nothing to offer.he is being stingy with mack, knowing every once and a while he can chatch fire. sometimes Teague is not ready for prime time.then after horford all you have is antic, damb. what was the purpose of giving muscala all that playing time in the second half of the season.muscala can get to a few rebounds that antic cant.that probably gives us another 6 points a game.it was obvious they were relying too much on that 3 pointer in the 4th but sometimes bud just says keep firing

DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: "Beal’s biggest concern coming into the series was neutralizing guard John Wall and Washington’s fastbreak."

______________________

BEAL'S biggest concern?

You sure about that?

Why would Beal want to neutralize his own teammate?

Wilbo
Wilbo

@DawgNole Because this simpleton jackarse doesn't have the good sense to edit his own garbage writing and the useless piece o' Shi ite paper doesn't care enough to provide an editor.

Hell Horsey
Hell Horsey

Meet the new Hawks, Same as the old Hawks!

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

They stopped passing the ball, and went in the tank. This is not a team of superstars that can take over a game. Street ball will doom this team.

Dance with the one what brought ya fellahs.....PASS the F'in BALL!

he_of_stinky_wind
he_of_stinky_wind

Tired legs in the 2nd half.  Obvious.   Why is the #1 seed having to play what amounted to back to back playoff games with travel involved.


Comical.  Chicago didn't play Friday night, why didn't they play today and the Hawks play Mon night.

Pama123
Pama123

@encroachtinishia LA Clippers won by 16 pts, on a day and a half rest, on the road, without superstar guard Chis Paul. Hawks loss to wizards, because they had problems executing in 4th quarter.

FalconUGAFan
FalconUGAFan

Tough loss...sure hope they make a series out of this. Live in DC and hate to have to listen the the Wizzies the rest of the year.

ImaNitwit
ImaNitwit

The better team won. Case closed. Stop the whining....sounding like Dawg fans every December.

JD101
JD101

Schultz - Again. Again. Again...  So little thought and research.   No salient observation - just blather about 'the sky is falling'..


Anyone watching the game understands the reality of what happened.  Playing their 4th game in 8 days - with 2 flights sandwiched in - the team ran out of gas in the 4th quarter.   For the questions about why not get more bench time for players-  because the bench has been in between subpar and horrendous in the playoffs to date.  Antic, Mike Scott and Kent Bazemore have ben invisible and maybe the moment is too big for them.  Schroeder has been inconsistent.  As a group they are shooting about 38% for the playoffs.    Thus - starters playing more minutes than average during season - and the 4th quarter showed them running on fumes.   It has little to do with the 'system' or the players - and more to do with the bizarre scheduling by the league that required a 1pm TV game - and deciding the 2 #1 seeds should play this Sunday.  


To suggest this team looks anything like teams in the past is to ignore what happened - all of 2 nights ago.  Faced with the need for a decisive result -this team delivered just that.   This team is still 1 major player (someone back up the money truck for Marc Gasol) from truly threatening for a title.  But to suggest it's a team like "Atlanta teams" of yore is lazy journalism - sorry- lazy editorial.


Wilbo
Wilbo

@JohnD101 I certainly agree that Schultz is stupid, lazy, and uncreative, but even a blind pig finds an acorn every now n then and he's absolutely right - this team is just  like every other Atlanta postseason team and they are going to choke like a freaking sick dog.

California Dawg
California Dawg

No need for the panic button. Coach Bud probably has forgotten more things about basketball than I know about the game but I have a question. Why didn't he play Shroeder more down the stretch when the offense became stagnant? He is more of a relentless driver than Teague for whatever reason. Our outside shots weren't falling in the second half so therefore taking the ball to the hole creates trips to the line or possible assists for wide open shots. I'm not sure if it was the ankle but for whatever reason Teague seemed hesitant to drive to the hole. These are the playoffs. You have to make in game adjustments. I think playing Shroeder down the stretch would've helped the bogged down offense because he is very aggressive taking the ball to the basket which also creates offensive rebounds. Coach Bud won coach of the year and I will continue to have faith in him. I'm just a fan with an opinion. Go Hawks!!

DawgnIT
DawgnIT

The Hawks scored more points in the 1st quarter than they did the 2nd half.  Boom!

What happened to the strategy of getting a big lead then burning clock with controlled possessions and high percentage shots?