First a public service announcement:
One loss in March does not define a team's season. Wednesday's loss by the Atlanta Hawks to the Golden State Warriors doesn't cast doubt over the 53 wins amassed by the team so far this season. To say that it does would not do the Warriors, who were really good on Wednesday, proper credit.
The reality is that the Hawks limped their way into Oracle Arena Wednesday night banged up, in the midst of a long road trip and with little to prove. No I don't think they took the game lightly. I think they had intentions of winning but having the intention and being motivated to do so is two distinctly different things. Golden State had the motivation of a 124-116 loss back in February when both teams were healthy. If either team had anything to prove it was the Warriors thanks to that previous loss at Philips Arena. They passed that test with flying colors by the way.
"Any time you're playing teams with the better records in the league, you're going to be tested, you're going to be challenged," Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. "And you kind of want to rise to that. You want to meet that test. Tonight wasn't our best showing."
Even without Klay Thompson they looked like a machine on offense. Thirty-nine assists on 44 made baskets is the kind of thing we have grown used to seeing from the Hawks. The Warriors gave Atlanta a taste of their own medicine Wednesday.
No it wasn't Atlanta's best showing. Not anywhere close. Any night where Al Horford is 4-18 its not going to be easy for the Hawks. Factor in the struggles of the bench and other key players and you have the recipe for a blowout. It is not an accident that the Warriors have lost only twice at home this season.
So if you are ready to denounce this season as a failure after Wednesday's loss save it. Keep it to yourself. Go for a walk and get some sunshine. Move on, just like the Hawks will.