The beginning of this game 1 is anything but eye candy. In the first quarter, the two teams combined for 40 small points (23-17 heat), with terrible shooting rates, especially for Atlanta (3/17, their worst quarter of the season). Despite this collapse in entry attack, the Hawks are ultimately only -6 (10/13 on free throws) thanks to their aggressiveness towards the circle.
The offensive galley continues for Nate McMillan’s men in the second quarter (8/21) as the Heat finally find their rhythm (36 points scored), under the impetus of a Duncan Robinson heating up (11 points, 3/4 back). the ark). In particular, Erik Spoelstra’s squad did a remarkable defensive job on Trae Young, who bullied and ended the first period with 8 points at 1/9 on shots.
At halftime, the Hawks are -19 (59-40), the result of a nightmarish first half offensively, including a 2/18 of 3-pointers.
The second half is a copy of the first… only worse for Atlanta. Always penniless in attack like a Trae Young, who after 36 minutes has almost as many balls lost as points (8 points, 6 balls lost), the Hawks sink very quickly in the third quarter (the margin reaches +27), while Miami without mercy, drives the point home ahead of an insignificant fourth quarter.
At home, buoyed by impeccable performances on both sides of the field, The Heat hit very, very hard from the start (115-91). The Hawks were trampled throughout the game and will be in dire need of a response Tuesday in Game 2 under penalty of being eliminated at Atlanta 0-2 and significant pressure on their shoulders.
WHAT YOU NEED TO NOTE
– Trae Young the Villain, Act II. Hated by Madison Square Garden during last year’s series between the Knicks and the Hawks, “Ice Trae” has made new enemies in Florida. After colliding with Jimmy Butler in the opening minutes of the game, the Atlanta All-Star was booed and taunted for his mixed play throughout the remainder of the game. Love him or hate him, we have to admit that Trae Young is perfect in this vicious role.
– The discreet but reassuring return of John Collins. The Hawks’ strong winger, who had been absent since March 11 with a double foot and hand injury, returned for Game 1. If he wasn’t much of a help in avoiding his team’s demise, he still took care of his recovery with 10 points (4/6) and 4 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.
– The liquid of the attack of heat. Finishing with an impressive 52.4% shooting success (43/82) and 47.4% behind the bow (18/38). Miami, which is known for its defense, also crushed the Hawks with its attack and that’s very bad news for Trae Young and his family.
✅ The Heat Defense. The club put in one of their best performances of the season in defence. By putting all of their attention on Trae Young from the start, Miami cut off the snake’s head and the Hawks quickly found themselves in trouble. In this Game 1, Atlanta has its worst half of the season in terms of address and ends up serving what can easily be described as disastrous (29/75, 10/36 3-pointers, 18 turnovers for 16 assists).
✅ PJ Tucker. A big defense by the Heat often rhymes with a performance by PJ Tucker. The muscular home improvement from Miami offered a game with 16 points and 5 rebounds, including a 4/4 from behind the arc. As usual, the powerful winger punished in the corner and capitalized on Bam Adebayo’s two-man catch in the racket.
✅ Duncan Robinson. The Heat sniper signed his new playoff record with 27 points at 8/9 behind the 3-point line. Elusive when sailing behind the screens, particularly those of Bam Adebayo, the back gave the Hawks’ exteriors migraines. His outward speech is definitely one of the keys to this series, and the Heat’s offensive display in Game 1 was a reminder of that.
✅ Jimmy Butler. After a completely failed playoff series against Milwaukee last year, “Jimmy Buckets” straightened the record for this Game 1. Motivated, vocal and fighting, he signs a complete match: 21 points (9/15), 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
⛔️ Trae Young. Logically targeted primarily by the Miami defense, the Hawks leader, who was dazzling during the two games of the play-in, took a cold shower in that first game of the series. Hassled behind the screens, bumped into every dribble, the former Sooner was having a very bad time, perhaps the worst game of his entire career. He didn’t score a single point in the second half and finished with just 8 points on 1/12 on shots (0/7 on threes), 6 rebounds and 4 assists but 6 balls lost.
Game 2: in Miami, Tuesday night at 1:30 a.m.