The Brooklyn Nets improved to 2-1 on Sunday with a 116-104 win over the 1-2 Atlanta Hawks. These two teams are expected to be near the bottom of the Eastern Conference standings when it’s all said and done, but they were able to put on a good show for the Brooklyn crowd this afternoon.
The Nets particularly shot the ball well at 47.1 percent, while the Hawks relied on the charity stripe to stay in the game. They went 33 of 36 overall from the line, which was key considering their measly 34 percent field goal percentage. While rebounding and turnover numbers were very similar, the Nets also shot better from deep at 39.3 percent versus the Hawks’ 25.9 percent
Early advantage to Atlanta
The Hawks got off to a decent start thanks to a balanced scoring effort and solid defense. While Allen Crabbe hit 4 of 5 shots in the first frame, the rest of his squad couldn’t get it going early. As previously mentioned, the Hawks did a good job of penetrating and drawing fouls as well which helped counteract below-average shooting.
Nets take over the rest of the way
After the first quarter, the Nets really started clicking offensively through the production of Crabbe, D’Angelo Russell, DeMarre Carroll Trevor Booker, and Caris LeVert. Russell made a conscious effort to distribute the ball in addition to finding his own shooting rhythm, and it led to a 16-point, 10-assist stat line in the end. Crabbe’s shooting was again pivotal in the third quarter, and he ended with 20 points and five rebounds of his own. He showed why he is one of the league’s best behind the arc, and it wasn’t a surprise against an Atlanta team that struggles to defend the perimeter.
Carroll was able to drop 17 points against his former team, but he wasn’t the only former Hawk in the house. Nets head coach Kenny Atkinson is a former Hawks assistant under Mike Budenholzer, and he has done a tremendous job with the amount of youth on Brooklyn’s roster. LeVert and Booker were also both in double figures with 16 and 14 respectively.
Schroder’s injury a major concern
The Hawks really struggled to get anything going on the offensive end, with even the leading scorers shooting poorly overall. Marco Belinelli had 19 points, but on just 5 of 13 shooting while Dennis Schroder had 17 on 5 of 22. Kent Bazemore had his best night of the very young season, with 16 points on 4 of 12 shooting. The brightest spot for Atlanta, however, was seeing rookie big man John Collins notch his first career double-double with 14 points and 13 rebounds. He has had some foul problems in his first few games, but his energy and athleticism are exciting and impressive for such a young player.
The Hawks have to be concerned, though, with the departure of their best player Dennis Schroder in the fourth quarter with an ankle injury. The young point guard was taken straight to the locker room after rolling it, and he was unable to put any weight on it. If Atlanta were to lose him for an extended period of time, they could be in real trouble offensively. They would likely be viewed as a bottom two team in the East at that point along with the Chicago Bulls.
The Hawks have a quick turnaround tomorrow night, as they will travel to face Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat. Atlanta is still awaiting the final steps of Philips Arena’s renovations, so they will not be home until later in the week.
The Nets also travel to the state of Florida, facing the Orlando Magic on Tuesday in a contest of two teams who have looked better than advertised thus far.