The Hawks’ losing is no big deal; the health of two subs is

Dennis Schroder on the night he hurt his toe. (David Tulis/AP photo)

Dennis Schroder on the night he hurt his toe. (David Tulis/AP photo)

Dennis Schroder on the night he hurt his toe. (David Tulis/AP photo)

Dennis Schroder on the night he hurt his toe. (David Tulis/AP photo)

The Atlanta Hawks have lost five of their past eight games, some by design — as in Charlotte on Saturday, when all the starters sat — and some half by design. (In Auburn Hills last night, Mike Budenholzer emulated John Calipari and went to a two-platoon system.) In and of itself, losing for a team with such a wide lead is no big deal: The Hawks have clinched their division and the East’s No. 1 seed, so what else is there?

Well, there’s health.

The reason for resting guys, as Budenholzer has been doing in spots for a while, is to keep guys fresh for the playoffs. (This is how things were done at San Antonio, and the Spurs have five NBA titles since 1999 to show for their methodology.) That’s the right move. Alas, reality can intervene.

Mike Scott hurt his toe. Kyle Korver had his nose broken. On Monday, Dennis Schroder hurt his toe. Better now than in May, yes, but better it not happen at all. Trouble is, there’s no way to play basketball without risking some misstep. (Even if you sat out the final month, you could trip over someone in practice.)

That the Hawks aren’t going to win 65 regular-season games — they’d need to sweep the final nine, which there’s no reason to do — isn’t a disqualifier. The Spurs never won more more than 62 in any of their championship seasons. T The health of Scott and Schroder is a concern. (The Hawks were cheered when it turned out Scott’s toe wasn’t broken, just sprained; Scroder’s toe isn’t broken, either.)

The Hawks went 17-0 in January and saw their five starters honored as player(s) of the month, but in several big games the difference-makers were those two subs. Both are second-unit catalysts, and both are hard to guard. They’ll be needed soon.

Then again, the first round shouldn’t be an issue. The Hawks figure to play Miami, Brooklyn, Boston or Indiana. They’re 11-1 against those four, the loss coming against the Celtics on Evan Turner’s last-second shot in the final game before the All-Star break. Round 2 will be when things get interesting.

Reader Comments 0

18 comments
McGarret
McGarret

Well here we go again. These Hawks have already begun their quick descent into self destruct mode at that nightclub in NYC the other night. Whatever little focus was there is now gone. This is exactly the reason never ever put any faith in any team from here. You just sit back and watch the dominoes start to fall.

Hell, they'll go down in the first round.

vpdii
vpdii

the Warriors clinched home-court advantage throughout the playoffs while winning their 12th straight game, 123-110 over the Dallas Mavericks on Saturday night. .....Golden State (63-13) needs one more victory to assure finishing with the best record in the NBA for the first time since 1975-76, but holds the tiebreaker on Atlanta for the top overall seed.


>>>>>>>>>

Now this is how you close out the season and why you play every game as if it matters.

vpdii
vpdii

This is the type of mentality that scares me. I just think that the Hawks are taking the wrong approach and mentality down the stretch. First of all, we are not the Spurs and we have not won anything, so that comparison needs to stop.....and has anybody noticed that the Hawks starters don't look "rested" at all at this point?. They look more "rusted" than anything else to me, and while I still see that the Golden State Warriors are still playing with pride, passion and motivation by sustaining sustaining the momentum that they have been playing with ALL year, our Hawks are on "cruise control" and playing lackadaisical "these games don't matter" basketball. All I know is that we are 0-2 against the Spurs and 1-3 against the Raptors with them blowing us out on our home floor the last time we played them. we split with Golden State, Memphis, OKC, and we will probably end up being 2-2 with Cleveland. ....and we are headed into the post season with a complete lack of focus........for those that believe that the Hawks will "turn it up" once post season starts, if the Hawks could not turn it up, after resting their starters, for those three recent games against Golden state, OKC, and the Spurs, in which they were again blown out badly on their home floor, then how in the hec are they going to "turn it up" against those same teams in the playoffs??

Katzenjammer
Katzenjammer

Cmon Mark, how can you assume anything is a given for an Atlanta team in the playoffs given our atrocious track record in all sports? It will be a war in ALL rounds.


However, I  must say that this team has a strong character with a "fire in the belly" and "we don't get no respect" swagger that should carry them farther than our other past pansy teams. Of course, if they exit early, I'll look like a fool for having said that.

Wilbo
Wilbo

@Katzenjammer You won't look like nearly as big a fool as Bradley and Schultz.


moboman
moboman

First round is NOT just an afterthought.  Whomever we play may have made the playoffs because they are on a rise and playing good ball.  We will have to do the same.

DamonH
DamonH

"The reason for resting guys, as Budenholzer has been doing in spots for a while, is to keep guys fresh for the playoffs"

Bobby did that a ton when the Braves clinched early ... as Braves fans are painfully aware ... it always failed.


Usually it was the Hawks as the 8th seed giving the 1 seed a run for their money, it might just be the other way around this time (being an Atlanta team, wouldn't surprise me in the least to see their first series go 7 games)

PeachtreeBart
PeachtreeBart

They gave the impression Dennis' toe injury is less serious than Mike Scott's.  Hopefully, this is true.

DawgNole
DawgNole

 MB: "Then again, the first round shouldn’t be an issue. The Hawks figure to play Miami, Brooklyn, Boston or Indiana. They’re 11-1 against those four . . . ."

_____________________

Yes, they're 11-1 against those four--IN THE REGULAR SEASON. 

And how have the ATL Hawks performed over the years IN THE POSTSEASON?!

DawgNole
DawgNole

"The Hawks’ losing is no big deal," says the header.

THAT is exactly the problem with ALL ATL pro sports teams and too many of their fans. Losing is seldom a "big deal"; thus the sad but highly accurate label of "Losersville."

I just don't get why they don't get it. I mean, look at the results of this pathetic "no big deal" philosophy: ONE championship in 162 seasons of competition.

Wake the hell up, losers!

Wilbo
Wilbo

@DawgNole Atlanta pro sports teams and the fans who dizzily ignore the incredibly inept, cowardly performances of ALL Atlanta teams are all like a big fat baby that took a prize winning dump in its diaper about 8 hours ago, and has now despite the horrendous aroma just gotten comfortable with it.


Oh, yeah, included the dim-witted boob bloggers who keep trying to tell you THIS team THIS season will be the one that breaks the mold.


No, they won't. The Hawks (like the Braves at every opportunity, like the Falcons against the Packers, against the Giants, and against the 49ers) WILL find a way to wilt and blow this opportunity.


Mark it down. It's gonna happen.


This will also happen. Mark Thrift Store Clothes Brat Li and Jeff Lefty Shooltz will be right back up here immediately telling you suckers that even tho the Hawks got blown out WAY earlier than hoped, they'll be right in the hunt next year for an NBA championship.


This will happen, too. You'll be stupid enough to believe it.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

GRADE FOR DEFENSE THIS YEAR


MILLSAP = B+


CARROLL = B


KORVER = C


HORFORD = D


TEAGUE = D


Teague and Horford must step there game up on defense if Hawks are going win Championship.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sautee
Sautee

@devounknown1000 Odd how the Hawks improved their defense to be in the top 10 in the league for defensive efficiency with all of those mediocre grades. Gee, it's a miracle, LOL.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Hawks are not going any where if there defense continue to be bad like last night, Horford have been horrible this year playing defense also Teague, Horford is not getting physical in the paint maybe because of the past injury but he must get back on track, Teague also have been horrible on defense, he must pressure the ball from started to beginning, maybe he saving his energy for playoffs, be he must pressure the ball better to create steals and turnover.


GO HAWKS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AceDawg
AceDawg

This team is ultimately vulnerable but capable of winning the championship all the same. Will be an exciting playoffs. 

craiginator
craiginator

"Round 2 will be when things will get interesting?"  Yes, but don't jinx us Mark!  

Dasdguy
Dasdguy

Im sick of hearing bout curry chicken.


Go Hawks !!!

FalconUGAFan
FalconUGAFan

Here's to healthy players. Very excited to see how they will do this year.