The Hawks had a dismal week.
With two minutes to go Tuesday the Hawks held a 9 point lead. It was looking like it would be the perfect start to a relatively marginal west coast trip opponent wise. It would’ve been their 2nd straight win and 5th in the last 8. Then, it’s like they forgot how to play the game of basketball. Phoenix would go on to complete the remarkable comeback. After the final buzzer, I feared that this type of loss could snowball into something bigger. After two blowout losses to end the week, it appears that fear was true. After showing improvements as a team the prior 2 weeks, one has to be disappointed (or happy if you’re one of those “we have to lose every game” people) at the defensive effort shown this week.
1/2/17 @ Phoenix L 104-103
Hawks completely choke in final two minutes to lose in the desert. I still could not tell you what in the world Dennis Schroder was doing on the last possession. The Hawks actually dominated the game, holding the lead for around 45 of the 48 minutes. In fact, Atlanta led by 9 with under 2 minutes to go in the game. Despite the loss, Ersan, Dennis and Bazemore all had strong games scoring wise with 20+ points a piece. Devin Booker had himself a night with 34 and TJ Warren had 32. Marquese Chriss had the game saving block.
1/5/17 @ Portland L 110-89
Poor second half defense the story as Blazers throttle Atlanta. This one got ugly fast. But as usual, the Hawks fought back in the 2nd quarter to trail by just 6 at Halftime. The team seemed to lose all defensive focus in the 2nd half in what turned to a 23 point deficit 2 minutes into the 4th quarter. From there on, garbage time was slop fest on both ends for both teams. The Hawks leading scorer was Dennis Schroder with just 14 points as nearly everyone struggled from the floor. Only one other player (Taurean Prince) eclipsed double figures. The team only shot 36% from the floor and committed 16 turnovers. CJ McCollum led Portland with 20. Atlanta couldn’t take advantage of a cold night from Lillard (14 Points).
1/7/17 @ LA Lakers L 132-113
Lakers bully Hawks for their first win in 10 games. Atlanta jumped out to an early 8 point lead but that quickly turned into a 20 point deficit by halftime. The Hawks showed a little bit of fight in the 3rd and early 4th quarters but never really made a move to make this one competitive. Dennis managed to score 27 Points to go along with 5 Assists. Collins and Bazemore chipped in 15 a piece and Collins hit his first career three pointer. Meanwhile, the Lakers needed this win badly. The media circus surrounding the Ball’s and Coach Walton was overflowing and the Lakers had lost 9 straight. Ingram led the way with 20 Points.
What’s Up Next
1/8/17 10:30 PM @ LA Clippers
The Clippers have been playing much better ball lately. But now, Blake may miss some time after suffering what appeared to look like a bad concussion Saturday vs the Warriors. Even with no Blake, the Hawks will have a tall task on the 2nd half of a Back-to-Back. Clippers 106 Hawks 102.
1/10/17 9:00 PM @ Denver
Last stop of a long road trip is usually the hardest game mentally. Coupled with the affect of the Denver altitude will doom the Hawks. Nuggets 122 Hawks 95
1/12/17 7:30 PM Vs Brooklyn
Finally home after two weeks, the Hawks get some home cooking and re-discover their shooting stroke. Hawks 110 Brooklyn 98. Attendance Prediction: 13,106.
News and Notes
- DeAndre’ Bembry has been recalled from Erie but is nursing a Groin Injury
- Moose is back and healthy but has found himself on the outside of the rotation
- Plumlee continues to receive more minutes than Collins, drawing the ire of many fans
- Dedmon should be approaching his return
- It is clear that the coaching staff is pushing Collins to shoot jumpers. While it is negatively affecting his shooting %, it will help him and the team in the long run
- Taurean Prince dislocated a finger in the Lakers game but returned to the game. Shouldn’t miss any time but it is something to watch