A few thoughts coming up on the Hawks’ 95-82 loss to the Knicks Wednesday night at Philips Arena:
– The final score may show that the Hawks lost by 13 points, but that does not reflect what a close game it actually was. With the game tied 72-72, the Hawks went cold, and the Knicks went unconscious. That’s pretty much how the game was decided. Up until that point, it was a thrilling, back-and-forth game in a playoff-like atmosphere.
– Despite the finish, I give the Hawks a ton of credit for how they fought in this one. Missing Devin Harris (foot) and John Jenkins (concussion) in addition to the players already done for the season (Lou and Zaza), and with neither Josh Smith or Al Horford able to get anything going offensively, PLUS with Carmelo Anthony continuing his stretch of making just about every shot he puts up, you’d have thought this one would have been over early. It was not.
– Kyle Korver deserves a lot of credit for that. KK drained a three for the Hawks’ first bucket of the game and kept on firing, scoring 25 points through 3 quarters before the Knicks finally managed to get a body on him. Kyle was a contributor all the way around tonight, pulling down 6 rebounds and blocking 2 shots to go with his hot shooting from the field.
– With Harris out, Shelvin Mack got a good amount of playing time, and the Butler product acquitted himself well with 8 points in 20 minutes of action. He’s still feeling his way out in the Hawks offense when he’s on the court, but he’s stuck some important shots and you can see his confidence growing.
– Man, Carmelo Anthony is something to behold. A night after dropping 50 on the Heat, Melo refused to regress to the mean, pouring in another 40 on 17-27 from the field. The Hawks did everything they could to stay with him, but when a guy has it going like that (at his skill level), there’s really only so much that can be done.
Overall, a disappointing loss given how close it was midway through the 4th, but no reason for the team to hang their heads in shame. Maybe Melo can shoot this well every time out, but I know for a fact that Al, Josh, and Jeff Teague very rarely have off nights like this altogether. We’ll see them again to finish out the season in NYC.