Atlanta's 105-83 loss on Wednesday in San Antonio came down to basically two things. One the Hawks had no answer for San Antonio's perimeter attack which connected on 11 of 23 three-point attempts. Reserve forward Matt Bonner connected on 5-7 attempts and finished with a team-high 17 points.
Second San Antonio's length at the basket bothered the Hawks who were forced at times to go with 6-foot-8 Ivan Johnson at the backup center position against San Antonio's Tiago Splitter who got the best of the matchup with 16 points and eight rebounds. The Spurs out rebounded the Hawks 44-34 and had a 9-6 advantage on the offensive glass.
- Bonner and Danny Green combined to hit 7-13 attempts from beyond-the-arc. Combined with Splitter, the three players scored 43 points off the bench for the Spurs which certainly gave Popovich the ability to ride his bench as long as he did. Conversely Atlanta's bench scored 27 points and that included at least five minutes of garbage time at the end of the game.
- This loss completely overshadows a great night by Jeff Teague how kept the Hawks in the game for a while. Teague finished with 20 points on 9-13 shooting. Teague also grabbed five rebounds and also had three steals but put up a goose egg in the assists column. He more than held his own in his matchup with Tony Parker.
- Joe Johnson and Josh Smith combined for 23 points on 11-29 shooting and also had two free throws combined. Johhnson pitched in seven assists but Atlanta is going to have a hard time if both struggle in any individual game.
- Kirk Hinrich made his season debut and hit 3-4 attempts for seven points. He was recorded a steal and was credited with two turnovers. He took Jannero Pargo's spot in the rotation checking in at the end of the first quarter. Pargo played the final 5:33 of the game during garbage time.
- In other point guard news, the Hawks requested waivers on Donald Sloan Thursday. The move puts the Hawks slightly below the luxury tax according to my math.
- The AJC made the decision to not send a beat writer with the team on its trip to San Antonio resulting in a rather generic AP report. Currently the plan is to not send a writer to Toronto at the end of this road trip. If you enjoy coverage of this team and you read or subscribe to the AJC then you need to voice your displeasure of this decision. Having a beat writer that is familiar with the team is crucial for reporting news particularly on road trips. Two obscure road games in the middle of a 66-game season might not matter to the decision makers at the AJC but it matters to me and if you want news on this team then it should matter to you as well.
- Atlanta's marathon road trip continues on Friday in Detroit with a matchup against the 4-15 Pistons.