These really were the throwback Hawks — and that’s not good

DeMarre Carroll, here defending LeBron James, returned from a sprained knee but it wasn’t enough to help the Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

DeMarre Carroll, here defending LeBron James, returned from a sprained knee but it wasn't enough to help the Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

DeMarre Carroll, here defending LeBron James, returned from a sprained knee but it wasn’t enough to help the Hawks in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals. (Curtis Compton/ccompton@ajc.com)

The Hawks wore their throwback uniforms Friday night, a decision that didn’t quite have the desired inspirational effect they had hoped for. They threw themselves back into an era when they didn’t belong anywhere near the Eastern Conference finals.

Looking anemic on offense and lifeless on defense — with the guttiest performance probably coming from a player (DeMarre Carroll) who probably should not have even been out there — the Hawks found themselves down by 20 points in the third quarter and went on to lose to Cleveland 94-82 Friday night, all but ensuring their impending playoff exit.

The Hawks are making their first appearance in the Eastern Conference finals. They’re still winless at this elevation.

They lost the first two games of this best-of-seven series at home and now must travel back to Cleveland, where the Cavaliers are certain to be heavy favorites in both games. The overwhelming  belief now isn’t whether LeBron James will end up back in the finals in his first year back in Cleveland but whether the Hawks can win a road game and make at least one more appearance back at Philips Arena.

This is not the way the Hawks wanted to go out this season. Carroll’s remarkable return from a knee sprain in Game 1 to start Friday presented the possibility for an emotional lift. But the Hawks just weren’t that good. Carroll, playing a bum knee, struggled on defense, Kyle Korver (4 for 11) and Paul Millsap (2 for 8) continued their offensive woes and the team made only 6 of 26 (23 percent) three-point attempts.

The Cavaliers were seldom challenged — and they played without starting point guard Kyrie Irving (knee)

Health also will be an issue the rest of the series. Korver left the game in the third quarter with an ankle sprain and never returned. Carroll’s knee likely will continue to be problematic. Al Horford suffered a leg injury early in the fourth but later returned.

The Hawks have looked out of sync for much of the postseason, despite winning two rounds, and on Friday looked sap of energy. Question: Do they have anything left?

Recent ramblings
— MyAJC: Carroll’s clean MRI alone won’t fix Hawks’ problems
— AJC: Carroll’s MRI negative, game status still uncertain
— MyAJC: So many negatives won’t work in this round for Hawks
— AJC: Game day: Hawks need Korver to find scoring touch
— MyAJC: Is Hawks’ sum greater than one LeBron?
— AJC: Odds say Cleveland, but when have odds ever said Hawks?
— AJC: Hawks in conference finals — and so is Josh Smith
— MyAJC: Mike Budenholzer’s leadership may continue to grow
— MyAJC: Hawks finally reach East’s promised land
— AJC: Short take: Pierce foiled, Teague finishes strong, Hawks move on
— MyAJC: Hawks in East finals would make Atlanta top 10
— MyAJC: Hawks in one win from higher elevation
— MyAJC: Hawks come through when it matters most
— AJC: Short takes: Horford comes through, Teague bows out
— MyAJC: Desperation shouldn’t be Hawks’ prime motivator
— MyAJC: Brady, Patriots got what they deserved
— AJC: Another lesson for Brady, Patriots: Don’t cheat, don’t lie
— MyAJC: Jalen Collins determined to make Falcons’ pick look good
— AJC: Wall’s injury shifts odds in Hawks’ favor for game, series
— MyAJC: Braves’ McDowell trying to repair some damaged egos

Reader Comments 0

109 comments
gkingii
gkingii

Boy, that's an atrocious photo of Kyle Korver in today's "poster" page in the ajc.

REGAN1966
REGAN1966

All the HAWKS fans are learning the Tried and True UGa Chant....WAIT UNTIL NEXT YEAR..

someonesdad
someonesdad

It's probably over, but it was a great season.  Good job Hawks.

ruffdawg
ruffdawg

Hawks are what they are, good shooting finesse team with a bunch of nice guys....with no upside or that Beast or Dog that can will his team to win , you might as well add the Falcons, to me personally, no  pro team in Atlanta seems to represent  that "TUFFNESS"  & "HEART" that's authentic  in Georgia Prep.....let's face it , the whole Atlanta area is known as the land of Milk and Honey , you add transits and undesirables , it undermines a unity or pride that most major cities have, as a result the teams appear soft.

Lakeside97
Lakeside97

It's just sports man. You're taking it way too seriously.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@ATLSportsRiseUp You are dead wrong. Sports can tell an awful lot about the character of a city.

ruffdawg made some really good points.

gobige
gobige

Looks like management gave up on giving us a competitive team in the cheapened Braves and the Hawks showed what kind of fight and heart they have-that was a very "Atlanta" performance last night.

Only three more months...Go Falcons! Go Dawgs!

Wilbo
Wilbo

@gobige And you think the Falcons are a competitive team?

GloryBetweenTheHedges
GloryBetweenTheHedges

In order for us to take that next step we have got to add on pieces that will shore up our weaknesses and that starts with rebounding.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

Eastern Conference finals....not bad for an Atlanta Franchise.

I saw em, this team is just tired, and that's not necessarily a bad thing considering the new heights this team brought the franchise. Just wait till next year.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@Iluvnutella

We've had 47 straight "wait 'til next years."

Isn't that enough for you?

SeanLB
SeanLB

It's unfortunate how it appears the season will close.  But, given the expectations before the season started, there is no doubt that this team gave me one of the best Hawks seasons (as a fan) one could hope for.  Our glaring need for a pure scorer is obvious at this juncture, as Korver can't be counted on in the playoffs and Teague is too apprehensive.


Let's keep building under Ferry and Coach Bud.  I like where this is going.  We just don't have a superstar, and in the playoffs, that's a killer.  

Polar Bear
Polar Bear

Hawkletts are frauds...... frauds of the East.   This proves what many already knew.  The 4 "all-Stars" are just common players,  nothing special.  When a  "all Star" guard (Teague) is shut completely down by a white bench player from Cleveland.......well that makes Teague nothing more that a clown.


Everyone outside Atlanta knew the Hawks were a fraud......it was just a matter of time until they showed their true colors.  Now the world has seen there is nothing special about this edition of the Hawkletts.


Cavs sweeping the Hawkletts without Kevin Love and Kyrie Irving......  Most think LeBron could pick 4 guys out of the crowd and beat the Hawks.

Iluvnutella
Iluvnutella

@Polar Bear  frauds don't make the eastrn conference finals..........choose your words more wisely.

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

When I saw the team come out sporting the throwbacks, couldn't help but think about all the times that backfired on Mark Richt.  


Props to DeMarre Carrolll.  Whatta competitor.

Wilbo
Wilbo

I know some of you are mad at him, right now, but I want all of y'all to picture Tom Brady just for a minute. See him giving that weird red Superbowl MVP truck to Malcolm Butler....


I wanna see the cowardly sucker Kyle Korver doing that same thing! 


"I'm sorry, but after running away from LeBron James like a scared little girl, I cannot accept my playoff share and I donate this $ back to the team to be split amongst the players who actually did make some sort of an effort in this series."


And why the hell was that dude on the court, any way? Somebody must've gotten behind closed doors and said, "Wow, this is the city of Dale Murphy and Chipper Jones and Jeff Van Note and Jon Koncak! We gotta have something white out there on that court!!!!!!!!!" 


Hey! You had a big ol' white surrender flag right from the opening horn. Wasn't that white enough for ya?

moboman
moboman

@Wilbo These games are being lost because we can't seem to hit an open 3 point shot.  The same shots we hit all season and we are getting plenty of opportunities.  That includes Millsap, Schroeder, Korver, Antic, and even Carroll.  And who knows about Mike Scott, because for some unimaginable reason, coach has devalued his abilities, as well as his shooting prowess.  The whole team has let the pressure of the playoffs get to them.  Not so the Cavs, they are hitting threes a plenty.

DawgHawkFalconFan
DawgHawkFalconFan

I will support this team till the bitter end. Best Hawks team ever. Reason they aren't likely to beat the Cavs is one of the reasons we have loved them so much this year. Lack of talent to compete with the very best. No other team has Lebron and no other team will win the championship this year. As for all of the whiners and band wagon fans complaining on this blog, go pull for the Knicks, Celtics or Lakers. Oh wait, they aren't still playing are they. Go Hawks.

Jacket Detective
Jacket Detective

I am trying to decide whether to watch the Hawks on Sunday or join the Shiite Muslims and flog myself all day.

Tough call.

centgaboy5472
centgaboy5472

It will be awhile before I can get the pic out of my mind of Korver running away from James coming down the lane- I mean seriously guy-  you need to man up  .  In the old old days James would get put in the cheap seats every game and I mean every game- looks like we just love our finesse b ball eh???

Wilbo
Wilbo

@centgaboy5472 Dude is so lucky that wasn't in WWII or something. He would have been shot right there on the spot for cowardice in the face of the enemy.

peanutgallery
peanutgallery

Really disappointed in the defense. Offense is partly luck but defense is all about effort.


Got tired of watching the Cavs draining open 3's throughout the first two games.


JesseWhite
JesseWhite

Man, this city is angry...and with good reason. Teams can lose well or lose ugly. The whole city feels like it was just taken for a ride...like they were tricked into believing in a sham team. In less than six months, the Hawks completely burned an entire city of potential fans and ticket-buyers. No one is ever going to buy into this team again. They could win 81 games next season, and NO ONE will have an ounce of faith or belief in them. Playing well, but losing to LeBron would be fine, but playing like the Knicks and getting embarrassed on our home court...the Hawks burned and destroyed the goodwill of most of the city. Such a shame...Atlanta really deserved better. 

Peachs
Peachs

A beat up team which was not built to be physical, and James is another level. Kind of reminds me of the Falcons making it to this level, number one seed and someone finds their stride in the playoffs and lays the wood to them and now they are a complete failure you either are or you are not.  Hope this team doesn't feel that way, but nothing is more show buz than the NBA and they are not entertaining the paying audience so they must be a bust. 


One thing for sure Cleveland can't play any better at home than they did last night here. 

CardiganBoy
CardiganBoy

@Peachs We're seeing examples of how the playoffs are a totally different game.  Teams will commit the defensive effort to keep Korver away from the ball.  


Am a bit disappointed in Teague's play.  He's not penetrating like he did during the regular season.  But then again, it's the playoffs.


We look completely overmatched agains the Cavs.  It's been a good year for the Hawks, but it looks like it's gonna end with a thud.


Olivia_Coleman_Bernard31
Olivia_Coleman_Bernard31

Milsap will be getting off season shoulder surgery as soon as the Hawks are eliminated. Wait and see.

AnsweredTHIS
AnsweredTHIS

Go back to your bigot hole! According to you he was never to play this far BIGOT!

mic404
mic404

No matter what happens in this series, the Hawks are way ahead of schedule. Last night was embarrassing, but you are 2 years in with coach Bud and his system. Second year and you are in the Eastern Conference Finals. Danny Ferry put this team in a good situation, they have cap space to add another piece and the 15th pick in the draft. Hawks are taking there lumps, as did Michael's Bulls, as did the Bad Boy Pistons. They all had bad exits in the playoffs before winning a championship. 

DawgNole
DawgNole

@mic404

Yeah, but did they have 47 straight bad exits before winning a championship?

EdwardJackson
EdwardJackson

I do not think these and we are flawed and naysayer fans. We are just giving our honest opinions and being sports minded as well... Reality and truth can be a difficult thing to digest.

Wilbo
Wilbo

Oh, wait! It's okay! 


I know what'll happen!!


In game #3, Kyle Korver will go 17 for 25, and like 12 0f 19 from 3 point and lead the Hawks on the beginning of a monstrous comeback!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Oh, wait, sorry.... About 81% of you suckers have already had that hopelessass fantasy.


SUCKERS! 


Kyle Korver is so thankful right now to have this HAHWIBBLE TEHWIBBLE widdle spwained ankle so he doesn't have to carry his useless little high school lookin butt back out there w real basketball players

mic404
mic404

@Wilbo I haven't seen you since mid season, been sweating it out. Hi Hater!!!

Wilbo
Wilbo

@mic404


Hey, baby, I got bored w this sham little team, and then life intervened...

EdwardJackson
EdwardJackson

EdwardJackson 5ptsFeatured
1 minute ago

Can someone anyone explain to me why hasn't coach Bud played Mike Scott more. He is much more athletic and versatile than Antic. His stats  proves that such as; three point percentage, field goals, rebounds, points in the paint, etc.,,, Antic does take up space and clogs up the middle with his size, however, he is not athletic and plays with less energy. I certainly hope the organization do not resign him. He has in my opinion been a casualty and disappointment for the past two seasons. Yet, Coach Bud for some odd reason continues to put him on the floor!  We are really seeing the glaring results of inept and mediocre players. Paul Millsap appears to be inactive, non-responsive and confused at times. He is a good player, but not a "big time" superstar.  This team needs a minor overhaul with a quality big man that has shot blocking ability and rebounding skills, a quality perimeter consistence fearless and can make his shot shooting guard, and a fearless inside banger/presence. Finally, Jeff Teague should look to expand his outside shooting ability and become a more complete and consistent go to the basket kind of guard.  He has throughout the season and playoff missed way too many inside five feet baskets. He need to play with abandonment...

LakeDawg
LakeDawg

@EdwardJackson Agree with this other than the Teague comment. Teague isn't getting any better. He is what he is. He has spit the bit in these playoffs. Hawks weren't thinking championship when they put this team together. These were just stop gap measures until they could get better players. The Hawks over achieved. They have Horford and Carroll is a pleasant surprise. But Teague is not elite. Korver is a bench player. And Milsap is a decent undersized power forward, but the Hawks need better at that position.

pjh215
pjh215

@EdwardJackson  he is playing with abandonment....of any hope of winning this series.

Raft
Raft

Come on you naysayers and complainers, Hawks had a great season. 60 wins and be in conference finals, any clue we'd be that good at the start of the year?

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

@Raft The 60 wins hurt the Hawks...To be labeled the best in the East and play like they have in the playoffs is a huge disappointment. There is a way to lose in the playoffs but play well and have hope for the future...see Washington. No one is going to predict any sort of success for the Hawks. They are a mid-level NBA team...and like the Braves, they are going to be completely okay with GOING to the postseason vs WINNING the postseason. This is why there is so much hate and disgust with the Hawks and Atlanta in general. Fans are fed up with same outcome year after year...just switch the sport and team around every few years. No one cares about winning the regular season...every real fan in Atlanta would take a mediocre regular season and championship, but the Atlanta teams do the opposite...and we are sick of it. It's annoying and frustrating and the Hawks are just the latest in a long line of failures and con-jobs. 

B_D
B_D

No matter what, you cannot win 60 games with a bad team.   There are so many things that have happen to this team in the latter half of the season that are not being considered here.  Paul Milsap is scheduled to have surgery on his shoulder at the end of the season.  His shoulder is probably killing him right now.  He has not been the same since he came back from his injury.  The bench which was so successful in the regular season has not been able to produce in the post season which has caused Coach Bud to play the starters long minutes and has destroyed the rotation he so carefully developed during the course of the season.  Mack and Scott have been so bad defensively that he has been holding them out until he absolutely has to have them.  I could go on but I think i have made my point.

Right now, because they are playing so many more minutes some of the guys have been getting injured.  Also, there is no denying it, we are an undersized team and that is going to have to be addressed in the post season.  That is going to mean a change in the front line.  Most likely it is going to involve Milsap or Horford.  I don't know about Kyle.  Post season has shown that teams can defend what he does and despite his ability to knock down 3's, he doesn't put the ball on the floor and he can't create his own shot.  More than likely, he will have to move back to the bench and someone who is a good shooter but can dribble and create his own shot will take his place (trade or draft).  

It is easy to take shots at the team here now and the trolls are out in full force.   The team won 60 games, put 4 people in the All-Star game, had the Coach Of The Year and for the first time ever in the NBA, had all five starters listed as the Player of the Month.  A bad team would not been able to do that.  Now, they are overmatched inside and the starters are playing a lot more minutes than they are used to and it shows.  Look for a lot of changes on the bench and at least one change in the starting group for next year.  Right now, that need to win a game and I am hoping they can do this on Sunday.  GO HAWKS!!!!

Wilbo
Wilbo

@B_D You, sweetheart, are the prototypical Atlantan!


Excuse every sickening postseason flop. Grin like a drunk flower child at a redneck wedding, and pretend you didn't get made out to be the coward that you are, by a better coached better motivated team ready to fight w courage and spirit for the BIG PRIZE when you are not.


People like you make me SICK to my stomach, and people like you keep Atlanta in its disgusting but familiar role - LOSERVILLE - because you accept this cowardly crap with a big stoopid smile and never demand better.

EdwardJackson
EdwardJackson

@B_D  You are correct on most of your comments, but, I disagree with the defensive deficiency with Mack and Scott.  Mike Scott is by far a much better scorer and player than Antic and can put the ball on the floor to create his own shot whereas Kover can not. Furthermore, all TEAMS deal with injuries. Like they saying goes it they are on the floor then they are healthy enough to play. NO excuses. I think this TEAM lost it sway when  Coach Bud started to rest players, hold players out and tinkle with his fluid lineout with about three weeks left in the season. I personally would prefer a TEAM that has it's rhythm , swag and flow than risking an injury. Then see what happen to Millsap. Rhythm is not something that one can turn on at anytime!!

B_D
B_D

@Wilbo @B_D I am glad I make you sick to your stomach.  And, you are right, in that I am a prototypical Atlantan.  I was born at Grady Hospital, went to high school and college in Atlanta. I stick with my team no matter what, including good and bad times, I wear their jersey's and cheer for them every time.  All across this country there are people in cities who cheer their teams even when they are going through tough times.  Let along when they have made it to the Conference Finals. We asked for this team to go deep into the playoffs and here they are, father then they ever have been before.  

I want this team to do well and I know they are not playing their best.  They probably can't come back from this but they are still my team.

By the way, where are you from.  Does your city's team have championships?  If so, if they are great, why are you here.  Why don't you go back there and live your life with them?  Get out now while you still can, you don't even have to pay at toll to leave and Delta has flights out every hour.  Most of all get out because you are taking up air that someone who wants to be here can use and you are stinking up my city.

khd713
khd713

@EdwardJackson @B_D "tinkle with his fluid lineout". Hmmm. Sounds like someone who had to take a pee at the baseball game.

DawgNole
DawgNole

@B_D: ". . .the starters are playing a lot more minutes than they are used to and it shows."

______________________

A lot more minutes than they're used to???!!!

What did the HC do--rest them down the stretch or something?