The Atlanta Hawks dropped their regular season finale at home thanks to a late buzzer beater by Chris Douglas-Roberts in a 95-93 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats. Despite resting three starters, Atlanta put up a good effort but an ugly fourth quarter offensively cost them a chance for the win.
"Like a lot of games, there are a lot of positives and some things that we need to clean up and work on," said head coach Mike Budenholzer. "Some of our defensive activity; through 3 quarters, they had 65 points, the ball movement, the people movement; the things we've been talking about all year through a lot of the game were good. There are areas in the 4th quarter that we can all look at and address and improve. Some of our young guys got great opportunities. There is a lot to take from tonight."
"When you're in our situation, health and all those things are a priority," said Budenholzer. "It was great to see Pero look like he had a bounce and was moving well and playing well. Jeff, the same thing. It was an opportunity to get them a little bit of rest, an opportunity to get guys reps on defense and offense and all the different things that we do. There were just a lot of positives with giving other people opportunities, but allowing Jeff and Pero to play, and play without being injured."
Atlanta is locked into the eighth seed and will face the Indiana Pacers in the first round of the playoffs which will begin sometime this weekend. The Hawks no doubt face long odds heading into the postseason but can draw some confidence in that they have beaten the Pacers twice during the regular season.
"We look forward to the playoffs," said Lou Williams. "Anybody can beat anybody. After Milwaukee, we'll start preparing for that series. We've played well against those guys this season. We look forward to the challenge."
Atlanta can also draw some confidence that they have played arguably their best basketball of the second half in April in order to hold off the Knicks and clinch a spot in the playoffs. Atlanta is now 5-3 in the month of April but has won five of their last seven and has victories over Indiana, Brooklyn and Miami during that span.