The NBA playoffs put even the toughest offenses on the line—particularly those who struggle to find extra gear. That is the reality facing the Atlanta Hawks as the team’s strongest attack in nearly 15 years has been effectively stifled in the post-season.
Atlanta only lagged behind the Utah Jazz in Offensive efficiency During the regular season – the second year in a row that the Falcons finished in the top 10 offenses. The catalyst, of course, was the all-star Tri Young, who Join Tiny Archibald As the only players to lead the league in total points and assists over the course of an entire season.
But Young struggled against top seed Miami Heat, who holds a 3-1 lead chain Above the Hawks in the first round of the Eastern Conference qualifiers. Young is known for his deep three-pointers, sly finishing near the edge and preparing his teammates to score, but Miami stifled it all.
Miami prioritized forcing Young to either take a bad shot out of the ocean or make a worse decision while trying to create for others. The Heat used a myriad of schemes to knock one of the league’s most talented playmakers out of a beat. Young, who led the league with three throws from at least 30 feet, was often met in the middle of the field nearly every time he hit the ball, sometimes leaving Atlanta to trust another hook to carry the burden.
Young’s points and assists have dropped dramatically from regular class to me postseason, while its sales rose. And while the Atlanta top scorer had a top scorer of 38.4 percent during the regular season, the Heat had him cap it to just 21.2 percent over the four games of the series – getting into Young by restricting his way to the edge and staying in his face on long shot attempts. Term.
“They basically kept us on the ocean,” Hawks coach Nate MacMillan said After the team lost Game 4, during which Atlanta won 48-26 in the paint.
Although Young took a win in Game 3 via a green-light buoy, the Hawks’ attack struggled to create an effective basket look against Miami’s deep bag of defenders, who collectively pushed Young to a contested shot distance of 19.2 feet throughout this time. Series – 2 feet deeper than the regular season mark of 17.0 feet.
‘They change a lot’ Young said of Miami’s defense After scoring 8 points a season low in the first game. “They do a lot of switching things too – not just switching. They do a lot of catching so you have to be prepared to read what they do, because they do a lot of different things at different times in the game.”
Young is among the league’s most efficient non-dribble strikers, but his caps per game in these playoffs have fallen dramatically short of regular season numbers. His shot on the contested appearance has also fallen significantly, from 44.6 percent in the regular season to 32.6 percent in the first round. He only made one of 12 contested shots in Game 1 – and tied with his worst mark in a single match over the course of 279 appearances in his career with no fewer than 10 contested attempts.
Miami threw a group of influential defenders at Young. Take, for example, non-designer third-year guard Gabe Vincent, Who grabbed Young by 31 percent during this series.
Here he doesn’t give Vincent an inch of room until Young settles in to try out the rhythm from the depth, which culminates in Vincent charging in Young’s face.
in the middle of the chain, Young admitted the challenge Thinking ahead of Heat coach Eric Spoelstra, who ensured that every Hee defender prioritized blocking Young’s path to the basket. Even when Young was able to rock Vincent, he was rewarded with matching the likes of PJ Tucker, who made it up 18 percent in this post-season shoot.
When neither Vincent nor Tucker guards Young, the likes of Kyle Lowry (who guarded Young on 14 team high shot attempts), Jimmy Butler and Pam Adebayo are all eager to play their roles, capturing Young along the ocean regardless of the Hawks’ collective efforts to free him. This consistent defense prevented Atlanta from creating regular basket drives. During Miami’s 24-point win over Atlanta in Game 4, Het Young grabbed a single shot attempt at low paint.
On his only attempt in Game 4, Young was able to push the ball off initially, but Miami’s wave of defenders forced him into an embarrassing race as Adebayo and Max Strus guarded the edge. This defeat came after a 15-0 run for Miami that changed Hawks advance 8 points to me 14 points, first half deficit.
Once the bell went off, Atlanta found itself facing a first-round elimination after entering the season with the ambition to join the Eastern Conference elite. And the road next year might not be any easier: Only the Golden State Warriors are currently slated to have less space than the Falcons in the off-season, in spotrak. Atlanta’s creativity in upgrading its roster in the short term can make all the difference in giving the franchise hub a little more help when the stakes rise during the playoffs.
Young, who has 66 points so far in this series distinguishes him Less than any stretch of four games Since March 2021, I’ve had no problem explaining Miami’s success against him in the opening round.
“…[T]Hey five people are in the paint when I have the ball so they do a great job of showing help and not letting me get into the paint.” Young said after game 4. “If I try to lead by someone, they send a double and force me to kick it to my teammates.”
“You should give them credit. We have to do a better job figuring out how to get more open looks and weed them out early, so I can be creative not only for myself, but for my teammates as well.”
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