Postgame Thoughts: Heat Simply on Another Level
A few thoughts after tonight’s 98-81 loss to the Heat:
- Kyle Korver was able to extend his three-point streak in the first quarter for the second straight game. How long do we think this thing will go Hawks fans? He’s at 56 right now.
- Once again, the Hawks turned the ball over far too many times against an opportunistic Heat team that feasts off the opportunity to make SportsCenter in the open court. They had 21 turnovers in the last meeting when the Heat came from 10 down in the fourth to win, and they had 24 more tonight, which is a season-high.
- Atlanta had 28 fast break points tonight, which is more than any other team has scored against Miami. That’s been a staple of the Hawks’ game all year, and it’s certainly a key to beating the Heat, who do a great job if you allow them to set up their half-court defense.
- The Hawks did a good job on LeBron James, holding the MVP candidate to just 15 points on 3-11 shooting. James’ streak of consecutive games with 30 or more points ended the last time these teams played, so it’s clear the Hawks have made it a point to not let him be the one to beat them.
- The Heat beat the Hawks in part because of the free throw disparity. Atlanta had trouble playing defense in isolation, which led to a lot of reach-in fouls on Miami drives. The Heat shot 30 free throws, while the Hawks shot only 14.
- Ivan Johnson, Mike Scott and Devin Harris led Atlanta’s bench scoring tonight, combining for 23 points as the Hawks’ bench outscored Miami’s 37-26. That was good to see, as the bench struggled in losses to the Celtics and Nets over the weekend.
Not a whole not to say about tonight’s game. Miami is playing on a different level than anyone else in the NBA right now, and they completely overwhelmed the Hawks tonight. If there’s some good news that came from this, it’s that most of the starters sat out the fourth quarter with the game out of hand, so hopefully the guys are ready to come back strong on the second of a back-to-back against the Lakers tomorrow. I’d call that a must-win, not only to snap the funk the team is in, but also for playoff positioning and because it’s a marquee opponent.
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