The Hawks are facing a team that L.D. expects to run a lot of pick-and-rolls. The Hawks won last time against the Raps but he didn’t think they did a good job defending pick-and-rolls.
This is going to be a continuing theme for the Hawks, who rank 27th in the league against the pick-and-roll ballhandler according to Synergy Sports Technology. That’s obviously troublesome because pick-and-rolls are a league staple, and the Hawks have shown no indication that the guards who are playing the most minutes can contain the ball with any consistency.
“Let’s face it: That’s the NBA,” Drew said of screen-rolls. “Some nights it is going to be good for you; some nights you may not do as good of a job. You are not going to be able to take everything away in defending the pick-and-roll. Hopefully your coverages and your techniques are good enough to where you can at least affect it a little bit. Against New York, I thought we were pretty good.”
According to Synergy, the Hawks were indeed pretty good controlling New York’s screen-roll ballhandlers: just .71 points per possession on 17 plays. However, the Knicks hurt them with spot-ups (1.29 points per play on 28 plays) and I’m guessing a good number of those came off dribble penetration.
The Raptors had a heck of a time getting from Naptown to ATL. It’s never good when your airplane is covered in ice.
The Raps finally made it to town late this morning.
“We tried to make today as normal as possible,” coach Jay Triano said. “We were here for an 11 o’clock shootaround, we had our meal at noon, and they like to sleep in the afternoon. We got that taken care of. We can’t worry about anything like that. We have got to be ready to play the basketball game.”
The Raps have lost 12 in a row, a streak that started with the Hawks.
“See if we can contain the basketball better and challenge people off the 3-point line,” Triano said. “If we do those things we give ourselves a chance. It is a tough matchup at a lot of positions. They’ve got veteran guys who are very athletic and they’ve caused us problems in the past.”
“We think over the last couple games we’ve been playing much better at the defensive end of the floor,” Triano said. “Our stats show that out. The unfortunate thing is we have had a hard time scoring. We’ve got less options available to us [Barbosa and Kleiza are out; so is Evans, who was no threat] but we still have to find a way.”
Michael Cunningham, Hawks beat