Postgame Thoughts: Rookies Impress Despite Loss to Spurs
A few thoughts coming up on the Hawks’ close 99-97 loss to the Spurs in San Antonio:
— With the team nursing several injuries and playing without starters Al Horford, Josh Smith, and Kyle Korver, you might think that would spell doom for the Hawks, especially going into San Antonio where they’ve lost 14 straight times. And while they did end up losing in the end, the reserves pushed into extended action acquitted themselves well.
– In particular, shout out to the Hawks’ rookies John Jenkins and Mike Scott. Jenkins, making his return after missing 4 games with a concussion, was nearly flawless from the field, hitting 7-9 on his way to a career-high 23 points. Scott, getting his biggest minutes of his career, made the most of his time scoring a career-best 22.
— Shelvin Mack continued to show the form that earned him a roster spot, scoring 12 points and dishing a team-high 8 assists in 24 minutes off the bench. I continue to be impressed with his poise, and his confidence in his own offensive game continues to grow with each outing.
— Atlanta scraped and clawed throughout this game, but just could never get over the hump. Every time they’d close within a few points, San Antonio would hit a timely three or force a turnover to extend it out again. Still, the Hawks never let the Spurs out of their sight, and down to the final seconds still had a chance to pull it out (or at least force overtime). No moral victories or anything, but that’s better than many previous editions of the team have done in San Antonio and at full strength.
The Hawks get a much, much needed break with three days off until their next game, a revenge match at Philadelphia on Wednesday.