The Hawks were blown out by 23 points on Wednesday night against the Hornets.
Sometimes basketball doesn't make sense, and this game was one of those occasions.
Right out of the gate, the Hornets brought it to the Hawks, taking a 17-2 lead in just over six minutes of action. The Hawks would then fight back to close out the first quarter on a 17-3 run due to some lackluster play by Charlotte and some good play from Paul Millsap. After that, it was all Hornets the rest of the way. Charlotte's lead reached 35 at one point and was never less than eight points at any time in the second half. To say the least, the Hawks never looked like they would really win this one.
Millsap was the only bright spot for the Hawks in limited action because of the game being out of reach in the fourth quarter. He scored 20 points on 7-12 shooting in 27 minutes. The lone highlight of the night was a ridiculous layup by Millsap in which he spectacularly caught a bad pass and then turned awkwardly under the basket to somehow put it in.
No other Hawk reached double figures in the game.
Dennis Schroder and Jeff Teague had a rough night that started extremely early in the contest. After Teague failed to get back quickly in transition defense just four minutes into the game, Coach Mike Budenholzer called timeout, exchanged some words with Teague, and brought in Schroder. Schroder brought some energy to bring the Hawks back in the first, but the two guards finished the game shooting a combined 6-23. Schroder was only a -8 on the floor compared to Teague's -26.
The Hornets shot 40(!) threes in the game, making 13 of them. Atlanta was able to only make seven of its 25 attempts from beyond the arc. Charlotte out-rebounded the Hawks 54-37, and beat them on the offensive glass 11-6.
Atlanta's 17 assists are the third least in a game this season. In the 12 games the Hawks have had 22 assists or less, they have a record of 2-10. The Hawks also had 16 turnovers in the game. When the Hawks haven't had at least three more assists than turnovers in a game this season, they are 0-4. Atlanta also shot just 37 percent from the floor, the second worst shooting game of the season.
With the Hawks being on three days' rest for this game, the belief that Atlanta plays bad on extended rest could be referenced in this one. With the Charlotte loss, the Hawks are now 3-3 this season when playing on at least two days' rest with wins against the Celtics, Mavericks, and Knicks, and losses against the Cavaliers, Knicks, and Hornets. While the record isn't eye-popping, a 3-3 record with a rested team isn't exactly impressive against a schedule that isn't strong other than Cleveland.
Coach Bud is sure to be furious about this effort, as the Hawks never looked like a team that wanted to fight back on Wednesday night. They'll get a chance to redeem themselves on Friday night in Milwaukee when they take on the Bucks at 8 p.m. ET. Let's hope the recap is much more joyful than this one.