Short takes: Wall’s status uncertain, late defense keys win

It’s OK to look now: The Hawks survived a scare and beat Washington to even their playoff series. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

It's OK to look now: The Hawks survived a scare and beat Washington to even their playoff series. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

It’s OK to look now: The Hawks survived a scare and beat Washington to even their playoff series. (Curtis Compton, ccompton@ajc.com)

Below are my three short takes on the Hawks’ Game 2 win over Washington.

To read the game column, click here to go to MyAJC.com.

1. John Wall’s future: As the Hawks’ Kyle Korver said, “It was an inspired effort” by Washington, who made the Hawks’ sweat despite playing without starting point guard John Wall. Wall suffered a sprained left wrist in Sunday’s series opener, and by Tuesday the wrist still was a swollen mess. He was scratched from the lineup shortly before the game, and after coach Randy Wittman had said “all players” on his team would be available to play. The question now: When will Wall return? When asked about his status for Game 3 on Saturday in Washington, Wall said, “I can’t really say. All I can do is keep getting treatment and try to get better and prepare myself like I’m playing Game 3.” It’s logical to assume the Wizards were not going to take a risk with Wall playing Tuesday after winning Game 1. But Wall is the centerpiece of Washington’s offense and a point guard with a sprained wrist can be problematic.

UPDATE: More comments from Wall, via former AJC comrade Michael Lee of the Washington Post: “I play through any type of pain. It was just a pain where I felt like I couldn’t control the ball and do what I can to help my team. There is no point. I didn’t want to go out there and have 100 turnovers. It would’ve been a waste of time.”

2. Backcourt problems: While DeMarre Carroll again led the Hawks with 22 points, the starting backcourt of Jeff Teague (3-for-12) and Kyle Korver (4-for-11; 1-for-7 in the first half) were a combined 7-for-23, including 4-for-14 on 3-pointers. While this is an offense that tends to live and die with the outside shot, poor shooting is more the reason why the Hawks need to drive to the basket with greater regularity. There were times in the game when players such as Al Horford had the ball and position in the paint and could have turned around for a potential layup, but instead kicked the ball back outside.

3. Defense improvement: The Hawks’ greatest improvement probably was fourth-quarter defense. Washington made only 4 of 15 shots in the final quarter and was held to 15 points. “If we can just get to the point of playing more of those (over) 48 minutes with that kind of defensive intensity — those hands, the activity — that’s what we’re going for,” coach Mike Budenholzer said.

Recent ramblings
 
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— 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
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— AJC: Budenholzer wins coaching honor, and it shouldn’t have been close

Reader Comments 0

11 comments
BeastOPS
BeastOPS

It's never as easy as one thinks it should be - beating a team without their star.  Other players always step up and play better than they normally would, also making it more difficult to game-plan.  I'd say more times than not when a star is out for one game, it's a wash.  Now if Wall is out for more than one game, it may make a difference..

BeastOPS
BeastOPS

Why didn't Mike Scott play?  Is he injured?

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Decisive Win in the final minutes of the final quarter. NICE.  Need to Keep Moving the Ball. Hopefully Horford will make more midrange shots.

Go Hawks !!!


Shooter McGavin
Shooter McGavin

Teague is playing on a sprained ankle, remember?

They've had a tough go of it in the playoffs but I'm ok with where they stand right now. And don't give me that garbage about Wall being out and that's the only reason the Hawks won. Wall didn't win the 1st game for them. The Hawks lost it with poor shooting. We are banged up just as much as the Wizards are. As it stands now, we're in the same shape as the almighty Warriors are, tied 1-1. Y'all stop sounding so defeated. I'm glad the Hawks don't just throw in the towel like you all would in this situation. Go Hawks!

Jimmy24
Jimmy24

Last night may have been a victory, but I'm very concerned about the Hawks ability to win this series. Poor defense and rebounding combined with the inability to penetrate for an inside shot may spell trouble.

McDawg
McDawg

Teague looks fatigued --amazing what happens when you play defense-now just try rebounding 

swimfin2
swimfin2

Shooting has disappeared during the playoffs. Too inconsistent. Not going to win when they shoot like this. Interesting they have shot well the first qtr both games. It's like they are tiring out in the second half. 2nd qtr yesterday was atrocious too. 

ImaNitwit
ImaNitwit

Easy to play better defense when the opposition's all star point guard is on the bench.

Ficklefan
Ficklefan

What is wrong with Jeff Teague?  Does any one know?  Where did he go.? There used to be "Teague Time" in the last quarter of Hawks games when they were kicking butt all over the NBA. It was a time in the fourth quarter when Teague would administer the final coup de grace to the opposing team, letting them know that any further resistance was futile.  

But tonight, throughout the game, and late in the game, Teague passed the ball to Horver, and then he  just stood there, six feet away from him, watching him get double teamed. And he just stood there and watched. He did not move, make a cut, set a pick, he just stood there, - nothing. It was so obvious, even the ESPN announcers noticed it and mentioned it. And you have to wonder if he had forgotten how to make a lay up, let alone any other kind of shot. Something is wrong here. Budenholzer needs to root it out and fix it - fast.