Postgame Thoughts: Hawks Settle In For Tilt With Pacers
A few thoughts after tonight’s 98-92 loss to the Knicks:
– It’s official – The Hawks are headed to Indiana for a first-round showdown with the Pacers. Atlanta’s loss gave the Chicago Bulls the five seed before their win over the Wizards was official. Game one will be Sunday.
– Obviously Larry Drew’s goal for the final two games was to get everybody rested and healthy for the postseason. The Hawks made no effort to chase down the fifth spot, which meant the coaching staff obviously didn’t have a strong preference of who they wanted to play first.
– Tonight’s game provided some opportunities for guys who normally don’t see a lot of minutes. Mike Scott shined again with a career-high 23 points and 14 rebounds. In extended minutes over the season’s final two weeks, Scott has impressed. We’ll see if his stellar play leads to playoff minutes.
– Fellow rookie John Jenkins also had a nice game after a rough shooting start. Jenkins came on late to score 20 points but was an uncharacteristic 0-6 from three-point range.
– Shelvin Mack has proven to be a serviceable backup to Jeff Teague. Getting the starting nod tonight, Mack controlled the pace and looked to be aggressive, several times slashing down the lane in Teague-like fashion.
– The Hawks shot just 2-21 from three-point range tonight. The bad news – That’s awful. The good news – They got all of their misses out of their system before the playoffs.
Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, Kyle Korver, Josh Smith and Al Horford all got the night off tonight. It’s unknown if that will be the starting lineup against a much bigger Indiana team, but it was good to get those guys rested and ready for the weekend. Indiana presents many challenges, all of which we’ll get into in a separate post, so they Hawks will have to do a good job of preparation and execution. It should be a fun week!
Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images