Three Takeaways from Atlanta Hawks’ Loss to Red-Hot Washington Wizards


The Atlanta Hawks took an upsetting112-86 loss to the Washington Wizards at home at Philips Arena on Friday night. Here are three observations that ultimately led to the blow-out.

Whether or not the Atlanta Hawks were more focused on the post game performance by Atlanta rapper “Lil Yachty,” one thing is for sure: their heads were clearly not in Friday night’s game against the red-hot Washington Wizards. Prior to this matchup, the Wizards had won 10 of their last 12 games, and unfortunately for the Hawks, they would go on to rule the court from start to finish on Friday evening.

To the average viewer, the game just didn’t make any sense for the Hawks. They had been playing well, having won 12 of 15 and were coming off a big victory on the road Wednesday night over the Chicago Bulls. What went wrong for the Hawks on Friday night at Philips?

1. The Atlanta Hawks simply couldn’t match the momentum of the Washington Wizards.

Friday night’s matchup started poorly, with the Atlanta Hawks taking off with minimal energy yet again for no apparent reason. The Wizards did not hesitate to take advantage of the Hawks’ slump, nailing 37 points by the end of the first quarter compared to the 25 by the Hawks. Unfortunately, the situation escalated from bad to worse as the Hawks went from trailing by 15 to 25 to end the second quarter.

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Many fans were hopeful that halftime present an opportunity for the Hawks to get it together; take a break, figure something out and come back stronger in the second half as they have done in previous games. It was still early and hope remained. However, Atlanta never made the comeback so many were waiting for. The Wizard’s increased their lead by 30 points in the third quarter…a number that the Hawks would not come back from.

In fact, the Hawks never led throughout the entire game. To make matters worse, the Wizards had out-rebounded the Hawks 52-41, and Atlanta totaled 20 turnovers that were the result of sloppy efforts, many of which were avoidable. According to Hawks’ guard Tim Hardaway Jr., ”There’s nothing to sum up. We got our butts kicked, plain and simple.”

2. Little defensive presence for the Hawks. 

The Atlanta Hawks didn’t show up on either side of the ball on Friday night, but lack of defense was most detrimental. The Hawks showed little to no aggressiveness, allowing the Wizards to score with ease. According to Hawks forward Paul Millsap, ”We just came out lackadaisical. We didn’t give them any resistance. They could go wherever they wanted to go, shoot whenever they wanted to shoot. I think it’s more on us. We have to focus on ourselves and figure it out.”3. No answer for John Wall and Otto Porter.

3. John Wall and Otto Porter made this matchup look easy for the Wizards.

The Washington Wizards were led by Otto Porter Jr. with 21 points and 11 rebounds, as well as John Wall who scored 19 points to seal the deal 112-86 for the Wizards on Friday night. There was also three Wizards, Markieff Morris, Marcin Gortat, and Bradley Beal, who contributed 15 points each.

When taking a look at Atlanta’s stats, the numbers just don’t compare. The Hawks were led by Kent Bazemore with 15 points. Dwight Howard did have a double-double with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Additionally, Tim Hardaway Jr. had 12 points and Mike Scott contributed 11, but otherwise, many Hawks starters fell silent. Paul Millsap scored just four points, Thabo Sefolosha contributed two, and Dennis Schroder had a slow night, scoring nine points. “We just have to be better,” said Schroder. “It starts with me. I have to set the tone. I’ll take that one.”

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Next up, the Atlanta Hawks will take on the New York Knicks on Sunday at Philips Arena at 3 p.m. Hopefully, the Hawks will have taken the time to reflect and extensively review film before this matchup. Will they have found their momentum in time to avoid another loss at home in such terrible fashion?