The Atlanta Hawks were back to work Friday night for their second game of the season in Charlotte to face off against old friend Dwight Howard and the new look Hornets. With a great game played already under their belt the Hawks came in with confidence and again rolled out a 11-man rotation in the first half.
The Hawks got some bad news Friday afternoon when they released that an MRI revealed second year player DeAndre’ Bembry has a fractured wrist. The extent of the fracture is unknown and there is currently no timetable for Bembry’s return. Miles Plumlee continues to rehab an injured quad that may keep him out as much as another week.
In the first quarter, the Hawks came out shooting including center Dewayne Dedmon making his first career three pointer. Dennis Schroder continued his good play from the Hawks first game in commanding the offense and distributing the ball well. Dedmon did run into some foul trouble early against Dwight Howard but John Collins came in and played phenomenally with an early blocked shot and a steal playing the majority of his minutes against Dwight Howard.
In the second quarter, the Hawks ramped up their intensity increasing their lead at one point to 40-20. Josh Magette was inserted alongside Dennis Schroder in the second with coach Mike Budenholzer experimenting how to best cover the minutes vacated by DeAndre’ Bembry. The Hornets would chip away on some great shooting from big man Frank Kaminsky narrowing the halftime deficit to 56-49 in favor of Atlanta.
To open the third quarter, the Hawks and Hornets kept the status quo with Taurean Prince leading the way for Atlanta. The Hornets were kept afloat by some nice drives from Jeremy Lamb. Dwight Howard was left wide open a few times and the Hornets continued to chip away. With about 5 minutes left in the third the Hawks led 69-60 and the Hornets proceeded to go on a 24-0 run, aided by some bad breaks (and hideous shooting) for the Hawks, to take the lead 84-73 heading into the fourth.
The Hawks, outside of Dennis Schroder, struggled to make any shots in the fourth quarter. The perimeter defense still leaves something to be desired but overall it was the run during the third quarter that killed the Hawks tonight. The Hawks rebounding was non-existent towards the end of the game and the Hawks simply couldn’t knock down shots and went on to lose game 2, 109-91
Atlanta had a rough night with fouls as well as they drew 16 fouls to Charlotte’s 27. Rookie John Collins fouled out with 4 minutes and change left in the game and Ersan Ilyasova ended the game with 5. The top scorer for Atlanta was again Dennis Schroder with 25 and for Charlotte it was Kemba Walker with 26.
A positive for the Hawks was the first half of the game where they thoroughly outplayed Charlotte and also their free throws tonight where they hit 10 of 12 from the line (They just didn’t get to the line enough). Tyler Dorsey made his NBA debut for the Hawks late in the fourth alongside Nico Brussino who made his Hawks debut.
The Hawks will be in action once again on Sunday when they face off against the Brooklyn Nets. Stay tuned.