Hawks Tighten Up Defense In Win Over Heat
A few thoughts on tonight’s 75-71 win over the Heat:
– Quin Snyder was not happy with the defensive effort Friday against the Clippers. Tonight, it looked as if the Hawks were a completely different team on that end of the floor. They forced 30 Miami turnovers and limited the Heat to just 10 offensive rebounds. Miami had no fast break points through three quarters.
– John Jenkins was again the star of the show, especially in the second half. Fourteen of his game-high 19 points came after the break, and he hit six of his last nine shots after starting 0-5. He said after the game that he’s enjoying his role as the leader of the team this summer, and it’s great to see him building confidence, particularly with his shot in a situation in which he’s the go-to guy.
– Dennis Schröder was a completely different player defensively tonight. The box score only shows four steals, but his hounding defense forced several additional turnovers, and he rarely got beat off the dribble. Offensively he seemed to slow down a lot compared to Friday. He had nine points, eight assists and only three turnovers.
– The shot of the game goes to Mike Scott, who took a rare three-pointer and made it in the closing seconds to break a tie and lift Atlanta to victory. Scott said in an interview with Hawks TV’s Jessica Taylor yesterday that he’s working on becoming more versatile, and part of that is increasing his range. Whether that was the designed play or not, it sure worked out for the Hawks.
– Eric Dawson, who didn’t play Friday, gave Atlanta some nice minutes off the bench. He was aggressive on the defensive end (six fouls in just over 11 minutes), but that’s exactly what was asked of him. Also logging some important minutes tonight were Sergiy Gladyr and Adonis Thomas.
– Shelvin Mack a second straight good game in relief of Schröder. You can see the difference in experience when Mack is on the floor. The game seems to slow down more for him, and it will for Schröder eventually. He just needs more minutes.
Overall this was a much better effort than Friday. The guys are beginning to gel with one another and trust each other more on the court. At 1-1 and sitting with five points, the Hawks are in good position for a first-round bye with a win tomorrow night against the Spurs. Catch that game at 10 p.m. on NBA TV.