Postgame thoughts: Hawks can’t stop Pacers home streak
A few thoughts after tonight’s 114-103 loss to the Pacers:
– After scoring 104 points in New York in their last road game, the Hawks put up 103 tonight. Scoring triple digits against two good defensive teams on the road is an encouraging sign, even if both resulted in losses.
– The Hawks have been close, but their best road win in conference to date is against 12th place Orlando. They’re now 0-7 away from home against the top 11 teams in the East (though several of those seven could have gone either way).
– 59 fouls were called in the game, 33 on the Hawks. As we know, Atlanta loves to run, and the abundance of fouls called may have helped prevent them from doing that tonight.
– The Hawks actually out-shot the Pacers from the free throw line tonight, going 23-28 (82%). It’s been no secret the team has struggled from the line this year. Maybe the solution is getting there more?
– The Hawks really missed both Devin Harris and Zaza Pachulia tonight. Harris is a guy who can push the ball and generate points, while Pachulia would have been a nice additional body to bang with Indiana’s big front line. He had 28 rebounds in the previous two games against them.
– Al Horford fouled out but had another workmanlike performance with 15 points and eight rebounds. After two quick fouls and five early in the fourth, Horford was able to last most of the game.
– Jeff Teague had another big night with 24 points and eight assists. He’s been attacking the basket a lot more since Lou Williams went down, and his scoring average is now up a full point over last season.
– John Jenkins is also on the list of Hawks who had a nice offensive night, scoring 14 points on 9-10 shooting from the free throw line. Jenkins twice got fouled while shooting a three, completed a three-point play and made a technical free throw. Fellow rookie Mike Scott also had a nice night, scoring six points and grabbing six rebounds in just 11 minutes.
– Kyle Korver had a rough shooting night (3-13) but did make to threes to extend the streak to 41 consecutive games with a long ball. Even the best shooters in the game will have an off night. Rarely will they have two straight.
– It looked like it was going to be a good defensive night for the Hawks, but that quickly went awry as Indiana had quarters of 32, 31 and 33 after an 18-point opening frame, reaching 100 points with 6:24 left in the game. There may not be a better team on its home floor than those guys.
There was nothing wrong with the Hawks on the offensive end, as five guys reached double figures and two more had nine each. But 33 fouls gave the Pacers 40 free throw attempts, which is higher than you’d like to see. Indiana is red-hot at home, having won 15 straight at Bankers Life Fieldhouse, so it was clearly the wrong time for the Hawks to catch them. The guys return home tomorrow to face a new-look Memphis team in a rematch of a game the Hawks won in December when Memphis had the best record in the NBA.