The Chicago Bulls were a little too much for the Atlanta Hawks to handle in last night’s game at the United Center; Tom Thibodeau‘s defensive system that he has put in place in Chicago was the difference in the game. Atlanta came into the game having scored over 100 points in 10 out of the last 11 games, but last night, the Hawks did not even reach the 90 point mark. I said going into the game that if the Hawks wanted to win, then reaching 90 points would be crucial against a defensive team such as Chicago, and what do you know? The game ended 91-84 in favor of the Bulls. Atlanta had a number of chances to take the lead, but the Bulls’ defensive intensity and rebounding proved to be the deciding factor in the game.
Even though the Hawks’ defense played one of their better games on the season, the offense did not live up to their expectations last night. Atlanta shot an abysmal 37 percent from the field, which includes going 8-for-28 from the three-point line on a horrific night shooting the basketball. I give the Bulls a lot of credit for their effort on the defensive end, but the Hawks’ offense really failed to show up, in my opinion.
Atlanta relies on their ability to hit the three-ball and last night, the three-point specialists failed to deliver the goods. Even Kyle Korver, who is arguably the best three-point shooter in the NBA today, failed to shoot the ball well from long range as he went two for seven from behind the arc. Paul Millsap and Jeff Teague didn’t even manage to hit one three-pointer on a combined seven attempts. Three of your better shooters cannot go a combined 2-for-14 from the behind the three-point line if the Hawks want to win games going forward.
Shooting the ball was not the only thing Atlanta did not do well in last night’s game. The Hawks also struggled to rebound the ball against the Bulls. All night, Chicago dominated the glass on both ends of the floor, grabbing 52 rebounds as the Hawks only recorded 43. This may not sound like that big a difference, but out of those 52 rebounds, 20 of them were offensive rebounds. I know Atlanta does not have Al Horford anymore, however, to allow 20 offensive rebounds is just plain awful and unacceptable.
The Hawks have to improve their rebounding going forward, because if they don’t, this team could be in for a bumpy ride for the rest of the season.