Hawks Fall In Playoff Rematch
By Robby Kalland
Lead Writer for the Atlanta Hawks
The Hawks fell 107-89 to the Pacers in a game that got away from them in the late third and fourth quarter. The starting unit came out strong and answered Coach Bud’s challenge from the previous night when he said he wanted to see the team come out with more energy and play with better pace. The Hawks led 24-15 after the first, led by seven points from DeMarre Carroll and six from Al Horford.
|Hawks vs. Pacers|
From there, the Pacers found their rhythm and went on a 25-8 run in the second quarter and led 46-41 at the half. They dominated the second half, especially the late third and early fourth quarters which let them cruise to the 18 point victory.
The bench shooting struggles continued for the Hawks who, aside from Mike Scott’s 7-8 shooting night, went a combined 4-16 from the field with seven turnovers. The Hawks bench units have not been able to effectively space the floor, which has clogged up the lane on pick-and-rolls and drives to the rim.
Jeff Teague had a strong game offensively with 17 points on 60 percent shooting and eight assists. Teague had five turnovers, but looked to run the offense well, especially with the starting unit on the floor. He and Carroll have developed good chemistry on baseline cuts, which DeMarre got three layups off of in the first half.
Elton Brand dominated in the first half with 11 points, four rebounds, two blocks, and two steals. He was strong defensively as well, forcing Roy Hibbert away from the rim and limited him to two points on 1-7 shooting. Brand’s ability to defend bigger centers will be very important for the smaller Hawks frontcourt this season.
The Hawks struggled defending the Pacers’ power forwards as David West and Luis Scola combined for 44 points on 19-31 (61.2%) from the field. The Hawks frontcourt had a number of miscommunications in the second half that led to easy baskets from Scola and West, who also hit a number of contested shots.
The Hawks starters seem to be getting comfortable together on the court. Horford and Kyle Korver had tough shooting nights, but were getting good looks in the flow of the offense that they will knock down more times than not. With Paul Millsap out, the Hawks frontcourt was very thin, which showed in their trouble spacing the floor well on offense and communicating switches and helping at the rim on defense.
The Hawks will play again tomorrow night in Dallas in their final preseason tune-up before they open their season on Oct. 30 back in Dallas. There will be plenty of things to work on prior to that season-opener on both ends of the floor.
Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images