RECAP: Wizards 114, Hawks 97

Bo Churney —  February 20, 2014


WAS(26-28) 114 – 97 (25-28)ATL  

Key Performers:
J. Wall (WAS): 21 pts, 5 reb, 12 ast
P. Millsap (ATL): 21 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl

This was essentially a repeat of the Indiana game on Tuesday, and as you know, that’s not a good thing. The Hawks allowed the Wizards to lead by as many as 20 in the first half, most of which was because of the open shots the Wizards were getting. Washington did a good job at forcing the Atlanta defense to collapse, meaning that Brad Beal, Trevor Ariza, and Martell Webster got a plethora of open looks. John Wall hit a few threes, too, which might as well signal that you’re not going to win. (Wall is a career 29% three-point shooter) At the end of the third quarter, Ariza hit a three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer to give the Wizards an eight-point lead that really killed the Hawks’ comeback effort. The Hawks had the Wizards lead down to one near the end of the third, but that Ariza shot just zapped the team of any momentum. The Hawks have now lost seven in a row and remain in massive injury trouble before the 3PM trade deadline.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap wasn’t as good as the stat line above may indicate. He didn’t play bad, but he missed a lot of open looks that definitely could have changed the tide of this game. The and-one finishes were nice and everything, but sometimes Paul needs to knock down the easy ones, too. 7.5/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier started again for the injured DeMarre Carroll and he didn’t have much of an impact against the Wizards. With Ariza guarding him, Cartier really had trouble finding open looks and really couldn’t do much to dribble out of the situation. Credit the Wizards for the strong defensive effort here. 4/10

Kyle Korver: Sort of ditto for Korver on the good Washington defense. Of course, Korver is a lot better than Cartier at getting shots up, so Kyle was able to knock down a couple of threes and extend his three-point streak to 122 games. Other than that, he wasn’t really too effective. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had a stretch in both the second and third quarters that reminded us why the Hawks gave him $32 million. He was aggressive with trying to get into the lane and was willing to put a shot up. Outside of those stretches, however, he was fairly awful. He finished with 16 points on 16 shots and only five assists. He did leave the game late with an ankle injury, but he appeared to be fine after the game. 4/10

Elton Brand: If you had told me before the game that both Millsap and Brand would have 20-10 games, I didn’t think there would be a chance the Hawks would lose. Of course, they did, wasting a very strong effort from the 34 year old. The Hawks did a great job of giving the ball in good spots for Elton, and he was either able to finish or draw contact and go to the line. He even had a nice driving layup that was sort of reminiscent of his days with the Clippers when he was an automatic 20-10 guy. 9/10

Mike Scott: Mike was hardly noticeable in this game. He played 20 minutes, but there really wasn’t a lot he could do on either side of the floor against the bigger Washington frontcourt. 3/10

Shelvin Mack: Not exactly a banner night for Shelvin after his strong performance against Indiana. Shel had only six points and three assists (two turnovers) on the night and wasn’t really the factor that the Hawks needed him to be. 4.5/10

Lou Williams: Only 3-for-9 from the field for Lou, but he did manage to get to the line nine times, which ended up accounting for half of his 14 points. He also had three turnovers, which was really a problem for the team as a whole for the second consecutive game. (hey, at least it was only 16 turnovers this time instead of 22. That’s… progress?) 5/10

Dennis Schröder: Dennis played 11 minutes and his big highlight was when he took a PUJIT (pull-up jumper in transition) that was a perfect swish. That shot alone was worth watching the game, as I’m sure he would have been pulled from the floor had he missed that shot. 6/10

Mike Budenhozler: He had nine available players, I don’t even know how to grade him at this point. What else is he supposed to do? Seriously, it was just depressing to look at the Hawks’ bench all night and see so many open chairs. INC/10

Opposition: The Wizards did a good job of getting Wall to attack the Hawks’ defense, which left open lanes and shooters. That gameplan was extremely effective and led to a great overall team scoring effort, as Washington had seven players that reached double-figure scoring. 8/10

Next: Atlanta at Detroit, Friday, February 21st

Bo Churney

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