Atlanta Hawks: From Bad to Worse in Playoffs Round 2


To say that the Cleveland Cavaliers “defeated” the Atlanta Hawks in Game 2 of Round 2 in the NBA Playoffs would be an understatement. With a final score of 123-98, the Cavs enjoyed a record-setting night while the Hawks completely fell apart.

Based on a close Game 1 for the Atlanta Hawks against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Game 2 appeared promising. That false Game 1 hope didn’t last long though, as Game 2 quickly took a turn for the worst for the Hawks.

Though the Atlanta Hawks began the game with a strong offense, Cleveland had an answer: three pointers. The Cavs had 18 three-point shots in the first half of the game, and a total of 25 by the time the game was over. Their 25 three-pointers set a new NBA record for both the playoffs and regular season.

So then what exactly went so wrong for Atlanta? Not long into the first half, that initial strong offense dissipated, followed by the Hawks formerly phenomenal game on defense. Not only were they not putting up points, but they were allowing the Cavs wide open three’s.

Only three Hawks starters – Paul Millsap, Al Horford and Jeff Teague – landed in double figures. In addition to Millsap’s 16 points, Horford’s 10 points and Teague’s 14, a few members of the bench contributed as well.

Kris Humphries, who did not play in Game 1 against the Cavs, led the bench with 12 points, followed by Thabo Sefolosha and Mike Muscala with 10 points each.

The rest of the team, yes – including Kent Bazemore, Kyle Korver, and Dennis Schroder – remained in single digits. There was no specific one or two players who cost the team the game. It was entirely a group effort.

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On the other hand, LeBron James and company were putting up significantly different numbers.

James himself led the Cavs with 27 points, followed by J.R. Smith with 23, Kyrie Irving with 19, and Kevin Love with 11 points and 13 rebounds.

Additionally, Atlanta suffered on turnovers. The Hawks turned the ball over 16 times, which was double that of the Cavs.

The real issue was that the Cavs turned those 16 turnovers into a total of 29 points.

“I think in transition, we’re not doing a good enough job,” said Atlanta Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, “We need greater urgency, need a greater understand of getting to all of their shooters.” Coach Bud clearly has his work cut out for him before Game 3.

The Atlanta Hawks return home to Phillips Arena for Game 3 on Friday, May 6th. Hopefully the home court advantage will aid the Hawks in achieving their first win of the series.

Next: Atlanta Hawks Lose Close Game 1 Against Cavs

And to think that if the Hawks would’ve won just one more game in the regular season, they would be playing the Toronto Raptors right now, and could’ve saved the struggle with Cleveland for the next round.