Quick Thought: Hey, wha' happened?
The Hawks played the first quarter brilliantly....moving effortlessly on offense, knocking down open looks, and getting after it defensively. Soon, the Hawks had a 14 point lead and turned it over to the bench.
That was the end of the goodness for the night for the Hawks.
The Hawks must have gotten the sense that the Bucks were going to fade away after that opening blitz by the Hawks, but they did the contrary, as they did in the playoffs against the Hawks last year. They were the aggressor, they knocked down shots, they forced the Hawks into a malaise offensively, and took over the game.
The Bucks outscored the Hawks 67-33 over the next two quarters, mainly by taking advantage of the Hawks refusal to address the Milwaukee shooters and their big men on the glass, leading the total lack of energy on the Atlanta offensive end, and another night of having more turnovers than their opponent for the home team.
The Hawks, after the starters left the game in the first quarter, played with little urgency for the next 24 minutes, all the while the Bucks were maintaining their effort like a machine--a machine that flattened the Hawks most embarrassingly at home.
No Stars in a game such as this...though it was nice to see Jordan Crawford be able to score in trash time, which is what the fourth quarter was in its entirety. And Al Horford was boss when the game was the Hawks'.
It came so easy for Atlanta in those opening minutes that they looked for the rest of the game as if they were simply waiting for the Bucks' shots to start missing and for their own to just go in---that was the extent of the on-court adjustment for the Birds while they were being maimed.
The great thing about the NBA is that there is always another game to get over the pain of the last one, but If the Hawks were perplexed by the Bucks pick/roll and their consistent effort, then they are in for a bucket full of agony against the Jazz up next. I expect the energy will be a lot higher, especially defensively.