The Atlanta Hawks, the same team that went 60-22, seem to be struggling a little bit so far this postseason. You probably read that last sentence thinking, “Well duh.” Although, I’ve been trying to figure out what exactly is going on in ATL.
At first, I thought maybe it’s just from playoff jitters. Then, I realized how cold the team was from the field and something seemed weird about the team. From what I saw, it looked like the Hawks started passing a little less than normal and then at other times it looked like they passed too much. There were times that two or three guys would pass up open shots on the perimeter and the last guy to get the ball would drive into traffic.
During the regular season, the Atlanta Hawks averaged 102.5 points per game with 25.7 assists per game. This postseason they are currently averaging 101.9 points per game on 26.4 assists per game. Well, I guess there’s not too much of a discrepancy there. They’re shooting 43.1% from the field and 35.2% from beyond the arc, but the Hawks shot 46.6 and 38% during the regular season. Sure it might not seem like a lot, but three percentage points in the shooting department will definitely make your team struggle.
When you go through their stats from the regular season and the postseason, a lot of them are almost identical. The Atlanta Hawks have seriously just hit a big cold streak, but have been able to get out of it enough to get by the Brooklyn Nets and even the series against the Wizards. If you’ve watched the Hawks/Nets series, then it was quite easy to see how cold the Hawks were from the field. Korver missed three good looks in the end of game five to tie or win the game. It was well known that Korver just missed shooting 50% from three during the regular season. Now, in the postseason, he’s shooting below 40%.
Tons of fans have been saying, “Man, I’ve been telling people that the Hawks were fake. They could barely even beat Brooklyn!” News flash, the 2008 Boston Celtics took seven games to move on after the first round and they went on to win it all. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not comparing a team with Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and Ray Allen to this Hawks team. They had stars on their team in Boston, but this Hawks team has a lot of underrated guys playing some great basketball.
I thought after the first round the Hawks would start figuring things out and getting back to their normal selves. Obviously, after game one against Washington, it didn’t really seem that way. However, this team who finished second in the league in three point percentage and fourth in field goal percentage, won’t be cold for much longer. They have an offense that gives everyone great shots. Don’t be surprised when they start winning more games and maybe even become Eastern Conference champions.