If you watched last night’s game, you saw your typical Atlanta Hawks. Playing good in the 1st half, and then falling apart in the 2nd half. There can be many reasons to why this happened, but one reason stuck out the most.
After having 23 points in the 1st half (19 in the first quarter), Dennis was benched early in the 3rd quarter due to an argument with Dwight Howard which led to Steph Curry hitting a 3 in transition. Dennis didn’t see the court for the rest of the game, and you could tell it had a big effect on the Hawks. They went into an offensive slump for much of the 3rd quarter and they couldn’t seem to get back to the same success they had in the 1st half without their starting point guard.
Was it a good decision to bench Dennis? There’s no problem disciplining your players, but how you do it could be a topic of discussion. Leaving one of the best 3 point shooters in NBA history open isn’t acceptable, but you shouldn’t be punished for the entire game, especially if you’re the reason the team has stayed competitive throughout the game. Dennis should have handled the situation with Dwight better, and Bud should have had a different way of disciplining Dennis during the game.
We all know that Dennis is 23 and still a young player, so he has some growing up to do, but Bud has to find a better way to keep his team together. Bud was quoted after last night’s game saying “Staying together is probably the bigger point. We’ve got to stay together and find a way to move onto the next play. Those things are important”.
That’s nice and all… but you don’t punish a player an entire half for one play that could have been up in the next five plays.
There also seems to not be any tension between Dennis and Dwight after this Instagram post earlier today (https://www.instagram.com/p/BRWCdrDgT3n/). At this point, it’s not the players, it’s the coach.
The Hawks need to get it together and need to do so fast. They face the NBA bottom feeder Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday.
What do you all think about this situation?
Malik Brown (@_MalikATL)