The Atlanta Hawks return to Philips Arena on Saturday for Game 3 of their best of seven series against the Washington Wizards with their backs against the all after dropping Games 1 & 2 in Washington. However, it sounds like there will only be subtle adjustments made as Mike Budenholzer told reporters following practice that he would be sticking with the same starting unit for Game 3.
Bud says starters will remain same.— Chris Vivlamore (@CVivlamoreAJC) April 21, 2017
That is a significant decision when the starting unit has been Atlanta’s most played lineup and by far its worst from a performance standpoint over the first two playoff games. Per NBA.com, the starting unit has put up an offensive rating of 83.9 and a defensive rating of 119.2 in 28 minutes of court time. That equates to a net rating of minus-35.3.
While the small sample size must be accounted for it is clear that this group hasn’t been very successful in this series. There is a chance they will play better at home but the Hawks are running out of time and aren’t in much of a position to sit back and wait for things to click. Of course it is worth mentioning that they spent the entire regular season waiting on the very same thing.