The Atlanta Hawks improved to 4-4 on the road Friday night with a 98-75 win over the Brooklyn Nets in a dominating performance. After a sluggish first quarter, the Hawks kicked it into high gear outscoring the Nets 36-13 in the second and seizing control of the game.
What are the biggest takeaways from this game? First is that the Hawks are playing really well at the moment and while their offense is clicking, the defensive game is also improving. In the decisive second quarter, Atlanta harassed the Nets into 5-19 shooting. As is usually the case, the defense led to good offensive opportunities as the Hawks looked to push the ball off of missed shots and turnovers.
Speaking of turnovers, Atlanta finished the night with 12 steals. Dennis Schröder and Jeff Teague combined for seven of them. Atlanta did a good job of pressuring and contesting Brooklyn and as good as their offense was, their defensive effort deserves mentioning.
Mike Scott seeing less opportunities but helped spark second quarter run
Mike Scott has seen less opportunities of late as Mike Budenholzer has adjusted his rotation slightly. Scott was still instrumental in jump starting Atlanta's offense in the second quarter where he went 3-4 from the field and scored all seven of his points.
Over the course of the season different players will get opportunities at different times. Scott is capable of an offensive explosion any night and that is a luxury worth having on any bench unit.
Dennis Schröder just continues his recent surge
Dennis Schröder is becoming a fixture in our game takeaways it seems but the poise he is showing at running Atlanta's offense is worth heavy praise. Grantland's Zach Lowe wrote an outstanding piece on Friday about Schröder's maturation and how he went from a pouting rookie who wasn't playing to being a key piece for the Hawks off the bench.
Schröder did most of his scoring in the fourth quarter on Friday when the game was already well in hand. Still, he did an excellent job guiding the team and finished again with no turnovers.
DeMarre Carroll snaps out of shooting slump
Carroll came into Friday's game having made four of his last 17 shot attempts and was just 1-6 from three-point range over the last two games. Carroll busted out on Friday and knocked down four straight threes in the second quarter including one at the half time buzzer to put the Hawks up 21 points.
Carroll almost deserves a pass when he is not shooting the ball well because the Hawks lean on him so heavily on the defensive end of the floor. Night in and night out he is usually matched up against the opposing team's most talented wing scorer. Friday was no exception as he was charged with trying to slow down Joe Johnson.
Carroll has still shown that he is a factor offensively and is a near perfect fit for the Hawks' offensive system. He is shooting 47 percent from the field which is on par with his percentage from last season but his three-point percentage has increased to 42 percent this season.
Get ready for No TV on Sunday and Monday
The Atlanta Hawks are 12-6 but non league pass subscribers won't be able to watch the team on Sunday or Monday due to a gap in SportSouth's coverage. Neither Sunday's home matchup against the Denver Nuggets or Monday's road game in Indiana will be televised locally. In this day an age I don't understand the reasoning behind not televising a team's full schedule but missing home games seems particularly troubling.