Hawks Struggle On D In Loss To Houston
A few thoughts after tonight’s 113-84 loss to the Rockets:
– The Hawks struggled on both ends of the floor, but particularly on the defensive end, where the Rockets scored 113 points, shot 55 percent from the field and drew 24 fouls, all without two prolific scorers in James Harden and Jeremy Lin. After giving up 222 points over the past two games, it’s back to the drawing board for Atlanta defensively as they’ll have to start slowing down the opposition.
|Hawks vs. Rockets|
– The Hawks are also in a funk offensively. Since scoring 100+ points in eight of their first nine games, Atlanta has not scored 100 in any of their past seven contests. To me they are playing a lot slower, not only in transition but also in the half court. The ball movement doesn’t seem to be what it was at the beginning of the season, and guys are settling for jump shots. Other than Kyle Korver (and Lou Williams at times), no one on the team is really known for being a shooter, so getting to the rim will need to be a priority going forward.
– The absence of Williams, Korver and Shelvin Mack allowed for extended minutes for both John Jenkins and Cartier Martin, and both played well. Martin went 4-of-7 from three and scored 14 points, while Jenkins went 3-of-6 from downtown and dropped 13. I’m particularly happy for Jenkins, who I felt got it going for the first time all season tonight. Injuries always provide an opportunity for someone to step up, and in this case it looks like Jenkins might get his if Korver is out for any length of time.
– The Hawks did a nice job on Dwight Howard tonight. The best center in the NBA finished with just 11 points and eight rebounds, well below his season averages. Of course, with 64 bench points, Houston didn’t need him to do much.
– It was another nice night at the free throw line as Atlanta went 80 percent (12-for-15). The Hawks are now shooting 74 percent on the season and have back-to-back games of 80+ percent. Getting there should continue to be a focus of the offense.
– We’ve had a lot of questions about #KyleStreak. Because he didn’t play tonight, the streak is not impacted. It will only come to an end if and/or when he plays in a game but does not make a three-pointer. For now, the streak stays at 88.
For the third straight game, the Hawks had a really bad fourth quarter. They’ve now been outscored 90-49 in their past three fourth quarters, and you see the result. Atlanta has to get this turned around, and I believe they will. A day off on Thursday will hopefully do them some good, because the next four games are all against teams who can put up points in Dallas, Washington, San Antonio and the Clippers.
Tweet of the Night
— Will Oglesbee (@WillOglesbee) November 28, 2013
Photo by Bill Baptist/NBAE/Getty Images