Ten observations from watching Hawks 116-104 loss to Nets on TV:
Update: From Adam Zagoria, freelancing for The AJC in Brooklyn:
1. The Hawks were down 14 after three quarters. Malcolm Delaney and Marco Belinelli gave the them a spark with some shot-making early in the fourth and then Belinelli tied it 99-99 with a 3-pointer. But the Hawks had no finishing kick. “Losing Dennis obviously is hard when you are in a close game and trying to make plays,” coach Mike Budenholzer said during his post-game news conference on Fox Sports Southeast.
2. After Belinelli tied it, DeMarre Carroll missed a 3 >>> Schroder got his shot blocked on a drive, leading to an Allen Crabbe three >>> Dewayne Dedmon missed a 3 and Carroll made a free throw >>> Then Belinelli missed a 3, Crabbe made another one and that was pretty much it for the Hawks.
3. Early in the game Schroder was making good decisions on screen-rolls. When Nets bigs sank, Schroder pulled up for short jumpers. When the roll man went with him, Schrorder got closer to draw the big and dumped off the ball. Schroder’s passes were better than the finishes by his teammates, though.
4. Maybe those missed opportunities early are why Schroder seemed to go into a lull for the rest of the half. His usual relentless attack of the basket was gone, replaced by some half-hearted drives and jumpers. Give Schroder credit for being a good play-maker but most times the Hawks need their best player to push the pace and create his own chances.
5. The Hawks haven’t played enough games yet to determine if they are bad at defending pick-and-rolls/pops. But they have not been very good at defending them in three games. The Mavs simply missed a bunch of open 3s. The Nets made their open 3s in the fourth.
6. The Hawks were in the game in spite of shooting barely better than 30 percent for most of the game. That was possible because of 36 free-throw attempts and 33 makes. Credit to Bazemore (8 FTAs) Schroder (7) and Belinelli (6) for getting to the line.
7. John Collins (14 points, 13 rebounds) had his first double-double. His springiness was even more noticeable with some of his teammates dragging. Collins is going to produce most nights through energy and athleticism.
8. Before the Hawks played the Mavs, Rick Carlisle went on at length about Mike Muscala without being asked about him specifically. Carlisle: “Muscala is a real legitimate ‘space five.’ Their center’s ability to hit 3’s is a real wild card. If Muscala goes out and hits three or four 3’s in the first half, we are in trouble.” Opponents are crowding Muscala at the 3-point line so he probably needs to do more of this:
9. Point guard Isaiah Taylor made his Hawks debut. It appears that Budenholzer’s 11-man rotation from the opener is down to (maybe?) 10 without DeAndre Bembry.
10. I admit that I’m skeptical about the whole Dewayne Dedmon shooting 3-pointer thing. Dedmon shooting that 3-pointer late in the game is not ideal. He made one earlier, though, and I’ll keep an open mind until we get more data:
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