Teacher Bests Student as Pop Edges Bud
The Hawks fell to 1-3 in the preseason with a 106-104 loss to the Spurs at home. The team is still experiencing growing pains as they work to build chemistry on the court and grasp the new system but showed flashes of the team we expect to see. The Hawks struggled from the field prior to the final five minute stretch and finished the night shooting 45.3 percent and 33.3 percent from three-point range. Here are some of the things I took away from the game:
|Hawks vs. Spurs|
– Kyle Korver will be just fine. After starting off 1-11 in two of his first three games from three-point range, Korver went 5-8 from the three-point line against the Spurs. As the Hawks get more comfortable in the offense and spacing the floor, Korver will get more open looks, and his streak will continue on.
– When this team can force turnovers and run on the break they are going to compete with any opponent. In the final five minutes of the game, the Hawks scored eight points off of three turnovers. On the night the Hawks forced 21 turnovers and converted those into 24 points.
– The Hawks do well getting to the free throw line as they got 29 free throw attempts, but have to convert better at the stripe as they shot just 65.5 percent (19-of-29). The positive is that they are attacking the basket and drawing fouls, now they just need to convert more of those opportunities.
– There’s still a lot of work to do. 16 turnovers leading to 18 points on the night with 11 of those turnovers coming from the starters. The high number of turnovers in the first three can be attributed, to an extent, to the team having little experience working together and still learning the system. In a system predicated on player movement and ball movement, the Hawks will have to be on the same page with each other to avoid a high number of turnovers.
– On the good side of that ball movement, the Hawks had 30 assists on 39 made shots. Pushing the ball in transition and semi-transition has been big for the Hawks, who got some quick baskets getting the ball up the court quickly even after Spurs made baskets. The speed with which the ball moves in the half-court is impressive and, when they are in sync, the ball moves side-to-side incredibly well.
Photo by Kevin C. Cox/NBAE/Getty Images