The Hawks’ shots stopped falling; J.R. Smith’s didn’t stop

Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll lies on the court as Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) speaks after Carroll was injured against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll lies on the court as Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) speaks after Carroll was injured against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Atlanta Hawks forward DeMarre Carroll lies on the court as Atlanta Hawks forward Paul Millsap (4) speaks after Carroll was injured against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the second half in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

DeMarre Carroll, in obvious pain. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

These short takes are presented as a companion to the Hawks-Cavaliers game column, which can be found here. The Hawks lost Game 1. The final score was 97-89.

1. The Hawks scored 26 points in the first quarter, and then it all went wrong. They made 61.1 percent of their shots in the first 12 minutes; they made 39 percent thereafter. Cleveland’s defense was a step off early, but by the second quarter the Hawks’ offense was essentially rendered a Jeff Teague drive or nothing. He finished with 27 points, which is good, but four assists, which isn’t. Kyle Korver got only five shots, making three. Paul Millsap made three baskets. The Hawks missed 19-of-23 treys. Even worse, this share-the-ball team made only 19 assists. The Cavaliers’ defense scored a knockout in Game 1.

2. Who shot? J.R. did. Without Kevin Love, injured in the final game of Round 1, Cleveland was forced to recalibrate on offense. In Game 1, the Cavaliers found a one-man gang, and that one man wasn’t LeBron James. (Although LeBron did manage 31 points, eight rebounds and six assists.) The sub J.R. Smith turned the game in the second quarter and won it in the third and fourth. He took 12 3-point shots; he made eight of them. He finished with 28 points in 35 minutes. The Hawks ran different players at him — Kyle Korver and Kyle Bazemore — and nobody could do a thing.

3. DeMarre Carroll’s injury cast a pall over an already gloomy night. He was hurt on a fast break with 4:59 remaining after stealing a James pass, and Carroll was half-carried from the floor by teammates. The Hawks announced that he had a knee sprain and will undergo an MRI on Thursday. For the man whom the Hawks were hoping could chase James all series, the sight of him in such obvious distress was a massive downer. (Although the last-gasp rally was fueled by Bazemore, who might well be forced to become James’ shadow. Remember, Thabo Sefolosha isn’t available.)



Reader Comments 1

64 comments
California Dawg
California Dawg

Mike Scott needs to start at the 3. Bazemore needs to continue to come off the bench especially when Kyle is struggling defensively. Shelvin Mack needs to play. Do you think he would've missed all of those open jumpers Dennis took? He did a great job blowing by the Cavs guards but when they changed their defense to allow him open jumpers he missed. That would've been a good time to insert Mack. In game adjustments. That's what the playoffs are about. Give all I mean ALL of Pero Antic's minutes to Muscala! Bury Pero on the bench! Sit him right next to Austin Daye. Better yet put Pero in a suit and let Austin put on the uniform. I'm just a Hawks fan with opinions. Time to regroup and take it to them in game 2!  Go Hawks!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

slydawg
slydawg

BAD NEWS.... He will most likely miss the rest of this series.

slydawg
slydawg

Folks, it's time to reduce Korver's minutes and insert Mike Scott more often. Cleveland is a team that has more athletes than skill players.

At the beginning of the 2nd quarter, the game was tied at 33 and Duke James only had 6 points. The Hawks will not beat this team with point spreads like that. ATL must force him to exert more energy early and often and shut down the others.

Alas, the flow of the game was what I expected; better now than in a pivotal Game 5 or 6. What I mean is, it was inevitable that JR Smith was going to have at least one out of his mind experience, the Hawks would have bouts of coldness, and a rogue ref who was obviously going to skew the calls towards the Cavs.

The Hawks have taken their best shot. They haven't given theirs yet. It's now up to Teague to channel his inner Chris Paul, become the star, and force the refs to skew the calls the opposite way.

Demarre Carrol only has a bone bruise and is day to day.... TYG

Pistol66
Pistol66

No, because of the poor officiating, Cleveland was able to turn it into a half court wrestling match! Cleveland is slow and led by the steroid king. LeBron, grabbed and held all game long! This is what his trips to the finals has taught him! The league will allow its stars to dictate to the referees what they want and because he cannot hit outside shots anymore. He wants a half court very physical game!

slydawg
slydawg

The steroid King?....lmao..... Please lawd don't tell me we have another made up Superstar.

bpgt
bpgt

@Pistol66  Two plays stood out in my mind.  The first play he control tips a ball into the backcourt.  Should have been a violation.  Next one he completely plows Antic, throws up a prayer, clangs it and 5 seconds after the Hawks get the rebound they call a SHOOTING FOUL.  It was so bad I just laughed.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Milsap must guard Lebron no way Bazemore should be starting to guard Lebron he is to small.


Moose must started this will allow Horford to guard Thompson, and stop all the second chance points for Cavs


I Hope Coach Bud put on his thinking cap.


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

atlfanman
atlfanman

The Hawks will need to adjust to Carroll's injury by inserting Mike Scott at the starting small forward. Kent Bazemore is too small to guard LBJ and after watching JR Smith get his shots on the perimeter Kent would be better served there. It is extremely important that the Hawks keep the Cavs off the offensive boards. Teague had a great game but could have used the pick-and-pop with Al more to open things up. Dennis and Kyle will have do better offensively going forward.


Bottom line how Coach Bud use his bench will be the key to winning this series. Logically speaking why save bodies on the bench that can contribute in wearing down your opponent. And now with Carroll's injury, Coach will be forced to do what many fans been calling for or be totally embarrassed.


GO HAWKS!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

Coach must make some adjustment.


TEAGUE, KORVER, MILLSAP, HORFORD, MOOSE


SCHRODER, MACK, BAZEMORE, SCOTT, PERO


COACH BUD STOP THINKING LIKE A ROBOT AND LET THEM BOYZ PLAY


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



Ugaboss
Ugaboss

I am a a mazes that people actually thought the Hawks had a chance . Knowing the history of sports teams in this state should have clued everybody into the fact that sports teams in this state never win championships . Turn out the lights the party's over.

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

I think Millsap should pick up James 90-feet away from the basket and contest end-to-end.  That would make it even easier for James to Tomahawk dunk on him. 

anotherdawg
anotherdawg

Mark, could you please run a follow up article to the one you ran a few days ago where you gave five reasons the Hawks would win this series?  Maybe, write an article that lists the five reasons that the Cavs will win, or maybe an article that lists the five reasons that you shouldn't write these jinx type of articles in the first place. 

Mutley
Mutley

Atlanta's cursed I tell you cursed, cursed. No one went to the soothsayer to remove the Loserville curse.

Rhetoric
Rhetoric

QUOTABLE: "I can't. If you could explain it, you'd bottle it up."
-- Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer when asked to explain Scott's red-hot second quarter


This quote from Coach Bud is from the playoffs last year against Indiana. Many of us are perplexed as to why Scott has been anchored to the bench this year during the playoffs. Also wondering why Mack is not seeing any playing time. Any lead usually disappears when Antic stays on the floor for an extended period. Muscala also deserves more playing time..

SUPER FAN of MY HAWKS
SUPER FAN of MY HAWKS

We will win it in five straight up GO HAWKS GO HAWKS GO HAWKS GO HAWKS BAZEMORE is gonna spark this team with just energy filling in for Carroll and JR is not gonna shoot that good till Oct 17 2016 he hit very hard contested shots and I watch enough ball to know thats a blip in the Matrix

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

@SUPER FAN of MY HAWKS I agree, JR's shooting was a bit of a fluke ... we defended him well too ... the Wizards and Nets had guys who had ridiculous shooting sprees yet somehow we survived. GO HAWKS

SaulK
SaulK

ATL doesn't have the muscle and talent to match Cleveland--too much finesse, shooting 3s, ... Cavs should win this series in 5.

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

@ClubShark  Coach Bud have make some thinking move adjustment and stop thinking like a robot, if so Hawks win this series.


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

he_of_stinky_wind
he_of_stinky_wind

Scoring 1 basket in about 7 minutes is going to mean 4 and done.

HarMul
HarMul

This Hawks first team can match up to any team in offense and defense. What made this team good all year was the second string.  They kept the team in the game, some days with good offense and some with defense. Thabo missing on the second string leaves for other teams to easily outscore us when we are not playing our first team.

Also, Korver has found a really bad time to get cold (compared to the level he had all year). 

Still hoping for a turnaround. Go Hawks!!!

ATLFAN34
ATLFAN34

Mark, you must have been at the game and unable to see how the officials called it.  The game was controlled by the officiating.  Credit the Cavs for capitalizing on the numerous opportunities they were given, however it was very clear there was a mandate given by the league to make sure the Cavs won.  Ever since Daniel Stern, the NBA has become another WWE.


This was the worst officiated playoff game I have seen since 2006 when the refs gave the Miami Heat the championship.  Its disgraceful and if I didn't love our team, I would not watch another minute of the NBA.


Someone in the media needs to get their head out of the sand and investigate...  Call these people out for cheating us of a real sport.

Jt Thomas
Jt Thomas

@ATLFAN34 Did Ref scored 8 three pointer? Or grab 49 rebounds to 37?  That’s where the game was loss.

NorthFlaFalcon
NorthFlaFalcon

@ATLFAN34 What was with all of our illegal picks, screens, technical fouls? Is that a Bud strategy??

WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR
WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR

@ATLFAN34  I agree, the officiating favored the Hawks all night.  They just couldn't take advantage of their advantage.  Korver pushing players out of bounds because he couldn't cover them, Millsap and Horford jostling James down the court every time, nothing called.

CowbellHell
CowbellHell

@WAITUNTILNEXTYEAR @ATLFAN34 you are an absolute IDIOT if you think the calls went the Hawks way cavs homer...the first bullS__t foul of the game on Milsaps, the two bogus offensive fouls that took 5 points off the board. The nba wants lebun in the finals period

Btown3
Btown3

Wow, wow, wow!!! Now I see why our teams do not have a good fan base. Sitting here reading these comments would make a non fan believe the series is over. The real fans and the ones who have played sports knows it's one game. So stop this nonsense. The only reason the Hawks lost this game was because of a player you would not expect to have a game like he did, and that's J. Smith. When a player have a game like that, there's nothing no one can do. I do not expect him to have another game like that. You make adjustments each game and move forward. One game doesn't make you champions. They've never been in this position so calm down!!! This is why it is called a seven game series. The adjustments will be made and the Hawks will be okay. This is going to be a grind and out series, and I believe the past two series are going to help the Hawks win this series. So take a deep breathe, relax, and stop Crying!!! It's just a game and allow it to take place. Some of you were not around when we had Jon Koncak (Contract), Billy Paultz, and others. You weren't around when the Hawks played Boston, went up 3-2, and lost the last two games. All I remember Larry Bird saying, "You had your chance". We all know Larry Bird, MJ, and Magic are not playing anymore. Basketball was soooo much better then than now. Once the adjustments are made and if the Cavs win, you shake their hands and move on. Stop being bandwagon FANS and stand behind this team. It's going to be a long series!!!!

devounknown1000
devounknown1000

@Btown3  Wow you definitely wasted a hole page, why you guys keep saying bandwagons fans, that the problem every time there some criticism is made on a team then your a bandwagon fan, SMH


BANDWAGON FANS ARE FANS NOT GOING TO GAMES TO SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL TEAMS


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

Btown3
Btown3

@devounknown1000 U r correct I took up a page. To read these comments after one game is Ridiculous. We longtime Atlanta sports fans know we haven't seen a Hawks team to play in the conference final since the 70's. But this team do not deserve any of this after one game. As I stated, J.R. Smith got hot, you tip your hat to him, and we will see him on Friday. So yes, Bandwagon fans!!! I will bet if the Falcons lose their first game, these same folks are going to want the new coach fired. So yes, Bandwagon!!! Go HAWKS!!!

Stingshuh?
Stingshuh?

@Btown3 Exactly.........the sky is falling........again...................Beer and Hot dogs folks.

Jt Thomas
Jt Thomas

@Btown3 Wrong… you haven’t been watching the Cavs all season.  JR is capable of going off for 40.  Check the history.  He was due for a game like this, he did it before.

mike8472
mike8472

No Thabo Sefolosha is finally catching up with the Hawks. To be honest, it caught up with the Hawks from Game 1 against the Brooklyn Nets but we were able to overcome his absence in that series and against the Wizards.


We now loose Carroll along with already being down Sefolosha for at least one game? That isn't good.


Still, we can make this a series. The biggest reason for the win last night against us wasn't Lebron, it was J.R. Smith shooting lights out off the bench. If he makes just a few less of those miraculous three's than the Hawks still win this game.


One thing is for sure, we need the next best man to step up big time. We need Kyle Korver to step up BIG time as well because he's been quiet the entire playoffs.


Calm down folks, we can still win this. GO HAWKS!


bpgt
bpgt

Too much negativity.  JR Smith got hot and that was the difference.  Kyrie Irving is hurt.  Dellavadgeogoeava is awful so we have a big advantage there.  Losing Carroll hurts bad, but I still have a good feeling about game 2.

BigTimeTECHFan
BigTimeTECHFan

Key to the game was all the moving screens. When one team is allowed to do it and the other team is not it makes a big difference in the game. Team allowed to do it gets open shots, team not allowed has to give ball to the other team, that's the ball game.

JesseWhite
JesseWhite

Open letter to Hawks bandwagon fans (like me):

Calm down...yes, I jumped on the Hawks bandwagon in December when they started winning, and it's been a fun ride. But, why jump off now? There is plenty of time to do that if they lose the series. This is a best of 7 series, so turn of ESPN, stop listening to the doom and gloom on sports talk radio, and relax. Trust the players...trust the coach. Let's see what they do in game 2. I feel your pain, but enough about this #atlcurse or the refs...that complaint is tired and part of the problem. Hold your head high, bandwagon Hawks fan...this team is not going to give up. 

JamesFulks
JamesFulks

@JesseWhite Agree. Stop listening to ESPN during the playoffs. That media outlet is Lebron's personal advertising agency.

LakeDawg
LakeDawg

@JesseWhite I like your spirit. However, bandwagon fans only stay on board when things are going well. If they win Friday I will be back on board. Until then the Hawks "suck."

LakeDawg
LakeDawg

Korver is killing the Hawks. He is getting torched by everyone he guards and my momma could guard him. Alas, the Hawks only have one big time player...Horford. They've over-achieved. The clock has struck midnight.

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