The Hawks have been blown out this season. A 33-point loss at the Cavaliers in November was ugly. Now, the Hawks have suffered a lopsided defeat on their home court. A 107-77 loss to the Bucks Friday at a sold out Philips Arena was only the third loss at home this season. Ugly is only the start of the appropriate adjectives to describe this loss.
The Hawks had a five-game win streak snapped and lost for only the second time in 16 games. The two teams meet again Saturday in Milwaukee.
Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 22 points and 11 rebounds, his second 20-point, 10-rebound game of the season.
Here are my five observations on the game:
1. Too much Christmas ham? The Hawks were sluggish and sloppy all game after having two days off for the holiday. They scored a season-low 77 points, 10 points fewer than their previous low. They committed a season-high 23 turnovers that led to 30 Bucks’ points.
DeMarre Carroll sent text messages to his teammates over the break and encouraged them to get in a workout. Some did. However, it’s clear the time off was an issue.
“Oh yeah, that goes hand in hand,” Al Horford said of the sloppy play and two days off.
2. Jared Dudley? Really? The Bucks forward came off the bench and scored a season- and game-high 24 points. He was a perfect 10-for-10 from the field, including makes on all 3-point attempts. He became just the sixth player in Bucks history to go perfect from the field with 10 or more attempts.
Dudley helped the Bucks’ bench outscore the Hawks’ bench 54-27. The margin was 32-7 in the first half.
“We didn’t do anything particularly well,” Kyle Korver said. “So there is a lot of room for improvement. But they beat us by 30 points so we are going to have to go there and do our job.”
3. The Hawks did not shoot the ball well – at all. Korver was 1-for-8 from the field, including 1-for-6 from 3-point range. Carroll was 0-for-6 from the field, including o-for-5 from 3-point range. That performance came one game after he set a career high with 25 points.
For the game, the Hawks shot 40.8 percent (31 of 76) from the field. They shot 17.4 percent (4 of 23) from 3-point range.
“We just got to flush it,” Carroll said.
4. The Bucks flustered the Hawks with a small lineup that caused turnovers, got in the paint and harassed defensively. The Hawks knew they were going to face an offense that could present matchup problems – and the Bucks did just that. The issue becomes, can the Hawks correct their defensive issues in less than 24 hours. The teams meet again in Milwaukee Saturday. How the Hawks respond will be important.
“It’s already behind us,” Jeff Teague said. “I think guys are ready to play right now.”
5. Adreian Payne finally made his NBA debut. The 15th overall pick in the draft, after three stints in the NBA Development, got into a game. It was only the second time Payne was active this season.
Payne entered the game 5:53 left in the first quarter and played 3:36. He returned in the fourth quarter with the game out of hand and played the final 9:22. In his 13 minutes, Payne had two points and three rebounds.
“It felt good to be able to get in the game,” Payne said.