May 6, 2014, 9:57 AM EDT
The upstart Hawks might not have beaten the Pacers in their first-round series, but Atlanta sure provided some thrilling moments.
And maybe more?
Hawks point guard Jeff Teague believes Atlanta had a special gift for the Wizards, and tweeted about it while Washington was beating Indiana in Game 1 last night.
Eh, I’m not sold.
The Hawks’ plan centered around spreading the floor and stretching the Pacers’ defense.
In Game 1, the Wizards played 29 of 48 minutes (60 percent) with two big men who can’t shoot 3-pointers. The Hawks did so for three seconds in their entire seven-game series (.01 percent).
And it worked for Washington. Marcin Gortat and Nene beat up Indiana inside, and the Wizards’ outside-shooting big, Drew Gooden, focused on crashing the offensive glass rather than drifting to the perimeter. Washington didn’t even need to dust off stretch-four Al Harrington.
Of course, the Wizards probably learned something from scouting Pacers-Hawks – just as Indiana learned from scouting Wizards-Bulls. Every team gains information from scouting its opponents’ previous series.
More and more, though, it appears the Hawks pushed the Pacers not because of a matchup problem, but because Indiana is a bad basketball team right now. If the blueprint is merely starting a series with the Pacers, well, OK.
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