Hawks know they need to be more physical against Wizards (UPDATE: Wall out)

Washington’s Paul Pierce pulls a rebound away from the Hawks’ Paul Millsap in Game 1 of their playoff series Sunday. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Washington's Paul Pierce pulls a rebound away from the Hawks' Paul Millsap in Game 1 of their playoff series Sunday. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Washington’s Paul Pierce pulls a rebound away from the Hawks’ Paul Millsap in Game 1 of their playoff series Sunday. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

UPDATE: As you might have heard by now, Washington point guard John Wall will not play tonight because of a sprained wrist, suffered in Game 1. The stunning announcement was made after Wizards coach Randy Wittman had told the media that all of his players would be available in the game. Shooting guard Bradley Beal (sprained ankle) seemed like the bigger injury concern coming out of the series opener Sunday but Beal is in the lineup. Ramon Sessions will start at point guard for Washington.

The Hawks lost the opening game of their second-round series against Washington for two big reasons: 1) They settled for jump shots too often instead of driving to the basket; 2) While they settled for jumpers, many/most were easy and open shots but they missed, anyway.

But there was another reason for the defeat that hasn’t been talked about as much: The Hawks didn’t match the Wizards’ physical play. It showed up at both ends of the court, but particularly offensively. It follows that how they do in Game 2 tonight at Philips Arena and for the rest of the series will depend at least in part on physical they play.

A few comments from players following this morning’s shoot-around:

— Forward Paul Millsap, when asked if he expected the series to get more physical: “Of course, especially with the personnel they’ve got and the magnitude of the game. We’ve just got to match it. We have to be the first one to be physical. There’s a lot of things we discussed (in film sessions).”

— Guard Jeff Teague: “They’re a physical team. We’re going to have to step up our physical play, too. They have guys who bang and push and we have guys who bang and push too. … It definitely showed up in Game 1. They brought it to us. We’re going to have to step up.”

— Millsap on Hawks players whining too much on non-calls: “If we don’t get calls, just keep moving on — don’t complain about calls or let their physicality affect what we do. Continue driving to the basket, get fouled. All of that is what being aggressive and being physical is all about, not just going out there and literally punching somebody or bumping somebody.”

The Hawks have yet to play four strong quarters in a postseason game. If that doesn’t change, their postseason will end in this round.

Recent ramblings
— MyAJC: Here we go again: Hawks let one slip away
— AJC: Short takes: Hawks go cold, blow double-digit lead in Game 1
— 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

Reader Comments 0

21 comments
SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

Wall, better wrap that hand tight, And Pierce might want to lower that chin a little. I think the Hawks are beginning to think you going call the foul then No Blood No Foul. You say we don't belong well not as soft as you thought are we. last count WW had 15 lucky bounce points. and still lost by 16



LindenArden
LindenArden

It is Hawks 65-59 right now - way too close.


In fact since Wall is out tonight I have to say even if the Hawks win game 2 they are solid underdogs.

chalkdawg4
chalkdawg4

At least we don't have to listen to Bob Rathbun and Dominique anymore.   Go Hawks!!

SomewherenSGa
SomewherenSGa

@chalkdawg Good to not have to listen to Hubie ( I am just talking to hear myself Talk)Brown too.

DawgNole
DawgNole

JS: "The Hawks have yet to play four strong quarters in a postseason game. If that doesn’t change, their postseason will end in this round."

____________________

You forgot to add ". . . preserving their amazing run of 48 straight seasons without even one Round 2 series victory."

McGarret
McGarret

They got manhandled plain and simple. Like my old hi skool (sic) coach used to say live by the J die by the J. Gotta pound it down low and go to the boards like there is no tomorrow. If they want it then go and get it shape up or ship out time for these Hawks.

SonomaCountyDawg
SonomaCountyDawg

After Game 6 and Brooklyn and the first half on Sunday, I thought the Hawks had finally reclaimed their January rhythm. If they had just stayed in that same flow, I think they would have been fine. We just seemed to panic when they took the lead and starting hucking up shots. Game two is huge. Pretty simple. Win and we're fine. Lose and the hole will be tough to get out of.  

tyger
tyger

KK line: 4+ 3's = Hawks win...


Obviously, 3-11 = Hawks lose...

drewcat
drewcat

Hawks are more rested than they were for Game 1. Given the way Coach Bud makes adjustments with his film sessions, I'm claiming a Game 2 win for the good guys!

Fierce
Fierce

The sky won't be falling unless they go into DC down 2-0. If you think they had to overcame adversity against the Nets, it would be something to overcome this. I still don't see that happening. Hawks in 6.

drewcat
drewcat

Damn a Game 1 loss in the eastern semis and that's how you feel?? Hawks will rebound and win tonight! You guys disgust me with you bandwagon mentality

mlchachere
mlchachere

You're not going to play Physical with players like Antic.  He cannot jump, run, and get position.  Why doesn't coach please put in Muscala or Brand, PLEASE