These short takes are presented as a companion to the Hawks-Cavs Game 2 column, which can be found here. The Atlanta Hawks lost 94-82. They were awful.
1. The pace-and-space offense has thrown a shoe, as we say around the racetrack. If the Hawks did nothing else Friday — and they came very close to doing nothing at all — they got Kyle Korver going, if slightly. He scored 10 points in the game’s first 10 minutes, marking the first time he’d cracked double figures since Game 2 against Washington. But the emphasis on Korver threw everything else off-key. Al Horford didn’t take a first-quarter shot; Paul Millsap missed four of five first-quarter shots. The Hawks would finish with only 15 assists, even worse than the 19 of Game 1, which represented a previous playoff low. They missed 20 of 26 3-point shots. They’d scored 38 second-half points on Wednesday; they managed only 33 this time.
2. The team that sailed through the regular season looking as if it had all the answers appears not to have understood the questions that accompany postseason play. DeMarre Carroll, who played on a bad knee, said afterward that the Hawks lacked “energy.” How in the name of Arnold (Red) Auerbach does that happen? A No. 1 seed is playing at home, already down a game, knowing the Cavs are without not just Kevin Love but without Kyrie Irving this night … and it doesn’t play hard? How is that possible? “I don’t know, man,” Carroll said. “We just came out flat.”
3. The series isn’t over, but it kind of feels that way. LeBron James toyed with the East’s No. 1 seed Friday, scoring 30 points, taking nine rebounds and making 11 assists. Eight of those first nine assists resulted in 3-pointers. J.R. Smith, who made eight treys in Game 1, had only one in Game 2, but Iman Shumpert sank four, James Jones three and Matthew Dellevadova two. Minus two of their Big Three, the Cavs still managed to undress the team with four All-Stars. They still have to win twice more, but the Hawks will have to win twice in Quicken Loans Arena to win the series. Good luck with that.