Last night, the Atlanta Hawks fought hard but ultimately fell to the Boston Celtics. With so many key players missing from action, the Hawks showed great resilience even in a loss.
The Atlanta Hawks and Boston Celtics are both feeling the pains of a long season. With the All-Star break approaching, both teams are limping towards it. For the Hawks, Cam Reddish, De’Andre Hunter, Bruno Fernando, Jabari Parker, DeAndre’ Bembry, and Alex Len were all out for last night’s game. The Celtics were missing Kemba Walker and Marcus Smart.
With so many key players, including two starters, missing from the roster, Lloyd Pierce had a starting five of Trae Young, Jeff Teague, Kevin Huerter, John Collins, and Damian Jones. Brandon Goodwin, Evan Turner, Treveon Graham, and Vince Carter were the only available guys off the bench. The Hawks have already struggled so much to keep the same starting five on the floor for a consistent amount of time, but several factors have made that impossible. Last night was no different.
Despite the Hawks being shorthanded, the team was up for the challenge of playing one of the Eastern Conference elites. The Hawks hit 10 three-pointers in the first quarter to put the pressure on the Celtics right away. The Hawks weren’t able to keep up that pace, and the Celtics chipped away at the Hawks’ first-quarter lead.
Boston would capture the lead in the second quarter after Atlanta’s shooting came back down to earth. Led by Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown, and Gordon Hayward, the Celtics were too much talent for the Hawks to stay on top of Boston. With the Celtics pushing back, the Hawks did a very good job of keeping the game close. The game was so close that the Hawks went into halftime with the lead after a bank-shot three-pointer from John Collins.
The Celtics made their stand in the third quarter, outscoring the Hawks 35-22 in that period. Boston set the tone of the second half by going on a 14-4 run to open up the second half and recapturing the lead. Going into the fourth quarter, the Hawks were down 95-84.
The young, beleaguered Hawks were not going down without a fight, however. Atlanta attempted to take the lead back, even pulling with three points of the Celtics multiple times in the fourth quarter. With that said, the Hawks would eventually get shut down by Boston’s stout defense and clutch shot-making. The game remained tight to the end, but the Celtics would prevail 123-115.
Atlanta showed a lot of fight in last night’s game with all circumstances included. Yes, the Hawks are one of the worst teams in the NBA, but no one who actually pays attention to this team can say that Hawks aren’t snakebitten this season. First, it was John Collins being suspended. Now, a string of injuries to starters like Kevin Huerter, De’Andre Hunter, Cam Reddish, and Alex Len. If all those things wouldn’t have happened, maybe the Hawks slightly better. Nonetheless, this Hawks team can’t catch a break this season.
The Hawks will get a day of rest before their next game in Minnesota. On Wednesday, the Hawks will travel up north to face off with the Timberwolves. The Hawks will be looking to avoid a three-game losing streak.