Like last year, the Hornets failed to overcome the obstacle of the “play-in”. And like last year, at the Pacers, they never made the weight of the evening on the floor of the Hawks (132-103).
In the wake of Trae Young (24 points, 10 assists), certainly clumsy (8/24 on shots, including 1/7 at 3-pts) but perfect leader of the local collective (five additional players at more than 10 points) , Atlanta players were not worried for a moment. Quickly settling in control, thanks to a just horrible and disastrous opposing defense, then unwinding to the end.
On the Charlotte side, between this desperate defense, a dubious attitude – as if it were a vulgar regular season game – and the atrocious performances of the presumed leaders, this 2021/22 campaign ends quite brutally, but no less logically.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
— A more effective collective for Atlanta. Beyond the duel between Trae Young and LaMelo Ball, largely won by the former, it is above all the contribution of the other players at their side that would be scrutinized in this match. Result of the races: it was a real butchery, as Young’s lieutenants enjoyed themselves against the “defense” of the Hornets. Between Kevin Huerter’s outside baskets, Clint Capela’s paint job, Danilo Gallinari’s cleanliness, De’Andre Hunter’s hot shot after the break and Bogdan Bogdanovic’s points off the bench, it was just untenable for Charlotte, over time.
— Charlotte exploded in defense. It’s been months, not to say years, that the Hornets have plateaued because of a defense that is too permissive, sometimes bordering on the execrable. And their ills in this sector of the game resurface even more when the adversity increases and the cleaver matches approach. Example this night, with this spanking received in Georgia against a team just more competitive and cut for big meetings. Unable to hold on defensively, over several sequences in a row, James Borrego’s men were thus opened up from afar and close by Atlanta.
✅ Atlanta Holders. Trae Young quite well contained by the Hornets, it was his lieutenants who took the opportunity to shine. Thanks to the good shifts of their All-Star point guard, brilliant in creation but also involved from time to time in scoring, Kevin Huerter, Danilo Gallinari, De’Andre Hunter and Clint Capela have, in turn, managed to propel comfortably ( and definitely) their team in charge. Opposite, Charlotte just did not know where to turn, logically losing track of this part and undergoing a real correction on arrival.
✅ P. J. Washington. While LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier watered unsuccessfully, it was Washington (17 points, 5 rebounds, 2 blocks) who played a key role for the Hornets. With his outside address, but also his ability to attack the circle, he allowed his team not to sink on the scoreboard and to stay at a reasonable distance from the Hawks, in the first half. Except that on returning from the locker room, the interior of Charlotte, like all his teammates, sank before the collective strike force of Atlanta. Still, he presented a rather attractive face for 24 minutes.
⛔ The Ball-Rozier duo. Among the Hornets’ three main offensive options, along with Miles Bridges (by the way, expelled), LaMelo Ball and Terry Rozier have holes. Unable to find success in the first half, and somewhat irritated by the whistles of the referees, they were never confident of the evening. In the second half, however, they continued to water excessively, to finally accumulate together an awful… 15/47 on shots (including 6/22 at 3-pts), with 8 bullet losses! Difficult, under these conditions, to positively influence the game of a team, despite a full stats sheet…
⛔ Charlotte’s third quarter. While De’Andre Hunter was clumsy in the first period, he then revived (and feasted) after the break, thanks to the spaces left by the Hornets in the racket. Put into orbit by Trae Young, he planted a whopping 16 points in the only third quarter, to knock out his opponents definitively in this meeting. And, in addition to Hunter, James Borrego’s men also cracked at the jokes of Young and others, in full demonstration, to the point of suffering a… 42-24 in twelve minutes!
Atlanta : trip to Cleveland, on the night of Friday to Saturday, to win 8th place in the East.
Charlotte : heading to the holidays.