Postgame Thoughts: Poor Shooting Hurts Hawks Against Bulls
A few thoughts coming on on the Hawks 93-76 loss to the Bulls at Philips Arena:
— The Bulls seem to have the Hawks’ number. I don’t know what it is (especially considering how the team smacked them earlier in the season at Philips), but something about Chicago just gives this team fits. Make no mistake, this game was much closer than the previous meeting when the team lost by 39, and closer than the final margin would indicate. But the Bulls had the energy edge for most of the night and beat the Hawks on many of the 50-50 plays that typically decide a close game. No doubt Coach Drew and his staff will highlight that looking back on this one.
— Both teams fought the injury bug in this one. The Bulls were without Joakim Noah, Carlos Boozer and Kirk Hinrich, while the Hawks started without Zaza Pachulia and Devin Harris, and lost Jeff Teague for a spell with a hip contusion, though Teague would return and play well.
— Normally double doubles for Al Horford (14 points, 12 rebounds) and Josh Smith (19 and 13) means victory for Atlanta, but not tonight. Still, the Hawks are 9-2 when both reach that benchmark, so don’t expect too many Ls when both are piling up stats.
— Notorious Hawks killers Luol Deng and Nate Robinson were up to their old tricks tonight, with Deng scoring a game-high 25 points and Robinson scoring 20 of his own. Seeing them doing damage made me give thanks that we added a former Hawks killer in Kyle Korver in the offseason. Korver played well against his former team, hitting 3-5 from downtown for 10 points, and extending his NBA-best streak of consecutive games with a 3-pointer to 40.
— Ivan Johnson did his best Zaza imitation with the big man out of action, scoring 8 points and grabbing 9 rebounds in 21 minutes of action. He also contributed arguably the highlight of the night with his buzzer-beating thunder dunk to end the first quarter.
We’ve talked in the past about the Hawks being a perimeter-oriented team, and when the shots aren’t falling (the team shot 33% after the half and 39% for the game), they are going to have trouble winning. Not having Devin to help pressure the Bulls defense hurt as well, but injuries are no excuse. Just gotta regroup and focus on the trip to Indiana.
What did you think?