The Atlanta Hawks faced off against the Boston Celtics in Game 1 of the first round of the NBA Playoffs. They had to contend with both the top team in net efficiency as well as a hostile crowd in TD Garden. Atlanta started their usual five of Young, Murray, Hunter, Collins and Capela, while Boston countered with Smart, White, Brown, Tatum and Horford.
The first quarter was a slog for Atlanta, with Boston able to space the floor and drive into rim attempts almost at will. The Celtics finished the quarter 10-for-16 (63%) from two-point range.
John Collins, at least, provided this moment of effort and intensity on the glass.
JC cleaning up on the boards! pic.twitter.com/xB23mvzZV8— Atlanta Hawks (@ATLHawks) April 15, 2023
Atlanta would go 0-for-9 in the first quarter, compounding the many problems. After one quarter, the Hawks trailed 29-19.
Jalen Johnson started the second quarter with a bang, hoping to restart the Hawks.
Looks like Jalen found his way to Logan Airport OK. pic.twitter.com/Lx2TcX4yDP— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 15, 2023
Things would continue to go downhill from there, with Atlanta absolutely unable to generate offense. They finished the half a ghastly 1-for-16 (6%) from three and 16-for-48 (33%) from the field.
On the opposite end, Boston drained 60% of their shots and 56% of their threes. Down 74-44, it would be hard to draw up a worse half from Atlanta’s standpoint, and any sort of response out of the locker room was needed just to save face.
The Hawks came out with an 8-0 run early in the third quarter. Dejounte Murray helped lead the charge with two buckets at the rim, including this.
Dejounte keeps driving pic.twitter.com/qC8kdH1rjL— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 15, 2023
Atlanta would continue to show some fight in the third quarter, even cutting the lead down to 20 at one point. And the Hawks would continue chipping away into the fourth quarter,
Here, Bogdanovic comes up with the steal and finish plus the foul to bring the Hawks to within 12.
️OGI ️UCKETS pic.twitter.com/dqu807kF1j— Bally Sports: Hawks (@HawksOnBally) April 15, 2023
But that would be as close as Atlanta would get the rest of the way. Despite some nifty finishes at the rim from Dejounte Murray and clutch threes from Bogdan Bogdanovic, Atlanta simply couldn’t overcome the huge first half hole they dug themselves and lost 112-99.
Dejounte Murray led the Hawks with 24 points and six assists. The Hawks finished 5-for-27 (17%) from three-point range after a brutal start. Despite nothing going right in the first half of Game 1, Atlanta still has at least three chances to prove themselves against a titan of a team.