Banged Up Hawks Beaten By Spurs

Friday, January 24, 2014
By Robby Kalland

San Antonio Spurs v Atlanta Hawks

The Hawks, already without Pero Antic and DeMarre Carroll for the game, lost Jeff Teague to a sprained left ankle in the second quarter when down 43-24, and the Spurs continued to roll from there on their way to a 105-79 victory. Tim Duncan finished with 17 points, 16 rebounds, and four blocks in 27 minutes, and former Hawk Boris Diaw led all scorers with 21 points. 

Hawks vs. Spurs
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The Spurs shot 48.8% from the floor and 61.1% (11-of-18) from three-point range, led by Patty Mills’ six made threes on eight attempts. The Hawks defense struggled to stay attached to Spurs players, getting lost on screens and having communication issues on switches and screen coverages, leading to a lot of open shots for the Spurs around the basket and from three-point range.

The Hawks compounded their defensive woes by turning the ball over 20 times (14 coming in the first half) leading to 23 Spurs points. The Spurs finished with eight more shot attempts than the Hawks thanks to 15 offensive rebounds.

The short-handed Hawks never were able to get in a rhythm or flow, shooting 38.2% from the field and just 15.4% from three (2-of-13). Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 15 points, eight rebounds, four steals, two assists, and two blocks, but it took him 17 shot attempts, as the Spurs’ defense keyed in on he and Kyle Korver, determined to make the others beat them. 

Korver was only able to get up three shot attempts as the Spurs perimeter players did well chasing him around the three-point line off of screens, but he did make one of his two three-point attempts to extend his three-point streak to 111 games.

With Teague going down with injury, Dennis Schröder will assume the back-up point guard role behind Shelvin Mack which will allow the rookie point guard to get some in-game development. Schröder looked more comfortable in his 23 minutes than he had in previous appearances, as he was more under control with the ball in his hands. Dennis’ defensive effort, individually, was good when guarding in isolation, but he, like the rest of the Hawks, had some communication issues leading to breakdowns.

The Hawks had just three players reach double figures, as Millsap (15), Lou Williams (12), and Mike Scott (10) were able to get a few shots to fall. Gustavo Ayon had eight points, seven rebounds, two assists, four steals, and two blocks to fill up the stat sheet, but had plenty of issues of his own. As Ayon steps into the starters role with Antic out, he will need to become more consistent on both ends for the Hawks to find success.

The Hawks will have to regroup quickly as they will fly to Milwaukee tonight for a match-up with the Bucks tomorrow night.

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Photo by Kevin C. Cox/NBAE/Getty Images

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