Hawks @ Knicks — Things of Note

Graham Chapple —  November 20, 2016
(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

The Atlanta Hawks dropped their second game in a row, succumbing to a 104-94 loss at the hands of the New York Knicks at MSG. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 19 points while Dwight Howard scored 18 points and pulled down 18 boards.

‘Mix and match’ uni’s return

Oh hey, the Hawks are doing this again: mixing and matching their road and alternate jerseys on road games on Sunday’s. How do you feel about these? Personally, I don’t mind this variation. It’s the black jersey with the red shorts that is a little too much for me…

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE via Getty Images)

No answer for Carmelo Anthony 

The Hawks simply could not contain Carmelo Anthony, who poured a joint season high of 31 points on 12-of-22 shooting.

Melo is listed at 6″8, while his opposite number, Kent Bazemore, is listed at 6″5. Melo is hard enough to guard when you’re 6″8, even harder at 6″5. Bazemore tried hard, but his lack of height did show in his matchup against Melo. That, added to some poor defense, assigning the rookie Taurean Prince on him (which, by the way, is a great way of throwing someone from the frying pan into the fire…) and some ridiculous tough shot making (all of which you’ll see in the montage below) meant that Anthony would tie his season high of 31 points, but unlike the other occasion where he scored 31 (against the Raptors), this game would end in a victory.

Despite all of this, Coach Bud wasn’t overly upset of how the Hawks handled Anthony.

“I wouldn’t be critical of how we matched up” — Coach Mike Budenholzer

This would’ve been a great game to have Thabo Sefolosha (knee sprain) to call upon off of the bench, but, while he was cleared to play tonight, did not take any part — a DNP-CD. It would be hard to imagine that Thabo won’t be involved when the Hawks play next, against New Orleans on Tuesday.

Dennis Schröder’s nightmare game

Holy crap… What a game. What a crap game from Dennis Schröder. He scored one point and shot 0-of-8 from the field to go along with three turnovers. And when the Hawks were chasing the game in the fourth quarter, Dennis was no where to be seen. The Hawks even ran out lineups where there were no point guards at all, and that says pretty much all you need to know about how Bud felt about Dennis in this game.

Postgame, Coach Bud acknowledged that today wasn’t his day, but that it was just “a day”.

Paul Millsap leapt to the defense of Schröder, calling on the rest of the team to step up when Dennis is struggling.

“It wasn’t Dennis’ fault. Guys are going to struggle. There are 82 games in a season. When that happens, the rest of us have to be better. We have to pick up the slack. That just wasn’t the case tonight.” — Paul Millsap

There is good news going forward though: it’s almost impossible for Dennis to have a worse game next time around than he did today. Almost. I’m sure Dennis could find a way to prove me wrong. But, please, don’t.

Offensive struggle

This game was a struggle offensively, and that shouldn’t have been the case. Heading into this game the Knicks allowed 107 points per game and per 100 possessions (ranking amongst the worst in the league) and the Hawks could only muster 94 points on 40% shooting. Now, some credit does have to go to the Knicks defense, which did make an appearance. But the Hawks should be doing better, this — at least from what we’ve seen so far — is not a great team and the Hawks should’ve hung more points on this very average/borderline crap defense.

“…It’s (the offense) got to be better. Against one of the worst defenses in the league and we come out and do that.” — Paul Millsap

The Hawks also struggled to get into their offense, struggled to get the ball moving. They registered a season low 17 assists (although, to be fair, if 17 assists is your season low you’re not doing too badly, all things considered) and the ball, nor the players, were moving around in the manner we’ve come to expect these days.

“…I don’t feel like we moved the ball as well as we need to” — Coach Mike Budenholzer

Hawk play-by-play commentator, Bob Rathbun, described the situation well on Twitter:

I’m with you, Bob. On to the next one…

Weird lineups

Coach Bud rolled with a few weird lineups today. We saw some Taurean Prince at power forward lineups, we saw Bud stick Prince straight up on Carmelo Anthony, we saw Kris Humphries and Taurean Prince on the floor together, we saw a ‘no point guard’ lineup in a fourth quarter where the Hawks are actually trying to chase a game…

“I just feel like we had a chance to make a little run, get back in it, just trying to find something at the point guard spot that would give us a better chance. Dennis has been great all year. We went with a couple different guys. I think we were grasping today. They were better than us today.” — Coach Mike Budenholzer

I can’t say I enjoyed a lot of these lineups. This would’ve also been an ideal time to have a third point guard on the team.

Paul Millsap’s awesome reverse layup plus the foul

Paul Millsap does Paul Millsap things.

Up next:

The Hawks (9-4) return to Atlanta, where they’ll prepare for Tuesday’s tilt against Anthony Davis and the New Orelans Pelicans.

Game stats: NBA.com
Hawks quotes: AJC via Chris Vivlamore

Graham Chapple