Long road trips are never easy for any team in the NBA team, and the Hawks are no different. On this latest road trip, the Hawks have gone 3-2, which is not bad at all. However, they have lost two straight to the Suns and the Lakers. Tonight they face a very tough Denver team on a road back-to-back, which is the hardest regular season game to win for any team.
If the Hawks are going to win tonight they’re going to need to fix some problems that they had in last night’s game against the Lakers. For instance the Lakers went 10/21 (47%) from three-point range last night. That is inefficient defensively and you are going to lose a lot of games allowing this to happen. When you get 34 assists on offense in one game, you need to win that game.
You need to execute down the stretch; the Hawks, for as well as they played last night, just didn’t defend the three-pointer and they didn’t execute when they needed to the most. The game was relatively close down the stretch and it was a very winnable game. If the Hawks had just executed correctly (particularly on that final play), I’d be spending more time on the good things they did, like the assists, the way the offense ran, and the amazing shooting. Instead, I’m talking about the bad things; thus is the ways of the NBA.
The Nuggets are going to be a tough team for Hawks as they are not coming off a back to back and are one of the best home teams in the NBA (25-3). The reason I was driving home the 3 point shooting issue: the Nuggets shoot 14 three point attempts per-36 minutes. This isn’t a huge number, but it’s enough that if they get warm from there, it could be dangerous. The Hawks defense will need to be on top of their game defensively, because the Nuggets share the ball; they are third in the league in assists per game (24.3), and that passing can really give a lot of teams a headache.
The Hawks want to finish this road trip strong and they have a chance to do that tonight. As long as they defend a little better and play offense the same way they did last night, it’s not insane to say they have a good chance at winning tonight.