1. Lack of Firepower and Intensity
This was without a doubt a lackluster performance by the Hawks. Atlanta simply did not come out with the intensity and passion like they normally do. The defense did step up in the second half, but it was not enough to come out victorious. Brook Lopez and Thaddeus Young played incredible games that led the Nets to take Game 3. I feel like Atlanta might have overlooked Brooklyn, but they will have second thoughts about that same mindset coming into Game 4.
2. Where was the Offense?
Take Paul Millsap and DeMarre Carroll out of Game 3, and this game is a blowout. Atlanta shot 35.6%, while shooting an abysmal 6-30 from three-point range. Kyle Korver was nowhere to be found, shooting 0-5 from three-point range, while only making 2 points. Give the Nets credit, they took Korver out of the game, and it worked to perfection. Al Horford and Jeff Teague also struggled from the field with a combined 7-25 field goals. Atlanta just could get nothing going on the offensive side in Game 3, so they need to take better shots and keep moving the ball.
3. Thaddeus Young and Brook Lopez Took Charge
Thaddeus Young had a horrendous game against the Hawks in Game 2. He turned his play around in this game, scoring 18 points (8-16 shooting) while grabbing 11 rebounds in his 41 minutes. The Nets did not have a particularly great game, but Young took smart shots and was a force getting the boards. Lopez was also a thorn in Atlanta’s side, dropping 22 points (7-18 shooting), 13 rebounds, and getting to the foul line 12 times. The Nets were +18 with Lopez in the game and +17 with Young in.
4. DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap Were the Only Positives for Atlanta
Without DeMarre Carroll and Paul Millsap, Atlanta could’ve have lost by 30 points. These two players were the only reason Atlanta was close in this game. Carroll had 22 points (9-12 shooting) and Millsap had 18 points (7-18 shooting) and grabbing an astonishing 17 rebounds. They were the keys to Atlanta’s success when they came back to take a 62-58 lead after losing the majority of the game. It was not enough at the end though, with the Nets going on an 18-0 run to make the game too far out of reach.
5. Game 4 needs to be a Statement Game
I know the Nets are very happy they took a game from the top- seeded team in the east. But let’s be real, Atlanta will come out with a different mindset and approach into Game 4. Could losing actually help Atlanta? Obviously I do not like to see the Hawks lose, but this might show them that they cannot overlook any opponent in the NBA Playoffs. I feel like Game 3 might have lit a fire under the Hawks organization, and expect the outcome to be a lot different in Game 4.