Atlanta lost their 16th game of the season on Saturday night by a score of 112-78. There were no close points, no rallies fallen short, no players on the Raptors that got extremely hot and shot the Hawks out of the game. None of that occurred on Saturday night. The only thing that happened was one team, the Toronto Raptors, came prepared to play -and for the first quarter so did the Hawks- and one not so much.
If you were at Philips Arena on Friday night you got a chance to witness the best of what the 2017-18 Atlanta Hawks have to offer in their 116-104 win over the New York Knicks. If you were in the same building a night later watching the Atlanta Hawks play against the Toronto Raptors, holders of the fourth best overall record in the Eastern Conference (12-7) behind Boston, Detroit and Cleveland- you saw some of the worst.
The Toronto Raptors scored 67 first half points including 39 points during the second quarter. In comparison the Hawks scored 39 points during the entire first half. The Raptors got more bench points, 43, during the first half from Norman Powell (13), Pascal Siakam (13), Jakob Poeltl (12) and Fred VanVleet (5) than the entire Hawks teams scored during that same period of time. A night after having seven players score in double-figures, the Hawks only had one double-figure scorer during the first half. Dennis Schroder went into the locker room with 12 points. The team’s leading scorer at 20.1 points per game, Schroder only managed to score two points during the third quarter. He finished the game with the same 14 points, a team high. Taurean Prince (10 points) and Marco Belinelli (10 points) were the only other Hawks players to make more than three shots. The Raptors gave the Hawks a taste of their own medicine with seven double-figure scorers of their own. Powell led all scorers with 17.
The Raptors did not need a heavy scoring night from their all-star backcourt of Demar Derozan and Kyle Lowry. The two players combined for just 17 points with the majority coming from Lowry would had the game’s sole double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds. Lowry only played 27 minutes on Saturday night and was four assists away from a triple double. Derozan averages over 24 points per game but looked content to work on his point guard skills, finishing the game with eight assists and only three turnovers.
The only good thing that can normally come from a 34-point loss is the opportunity to play younger players and Budenholzer took advantage of his team’s off night by playing rookie guard Tyler Dorsey for 12 minutes and G-League call-up Josh Magette for 16 minutes. Miles Plumlee, back in action after starting the season injured, played nine minutes did not attempt a shot and had a steal.
Atlanta is off for the next few days before hosting Cleveland on Thursday. The team has plans to officially open the Emory Sports Medicine Complex with a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Tuesday, November 28.