The beginning of this Game 1 is anything but a treat for the eyes. During the first quarter, the two teams combined for 40 small points (23-17 Heat), with lousy shooting percentages, especially for Atlanta (3/17, their worst quarter of the season). Despite this break in the inning attack, the Hawks are ultimately just -6, thanks to their aggressiveness towards the circle (10/13 on free throws).
The offensive galley of Nate McMillan’s men continues during the second quarter (21/8), while the Heat finally find their rhythm (36 points scored), under the impetus of a Duncan Robinson who warms up (11 points, 3/4 for behind the bow). Above all, Erik Spoelstra’s squad did a remarkable defensive job against Trae Young, harassed and who completed the first half with 8 points at 1/9 shots.
At halftime, the Hawks are -19 (59-40), the result of a nightmare first half at the offensive level, including 2/18 from 3-point range.
The second half is a carbon copy of the first … only worse for Atlanta. Always helpless in attack like a Trae Young who has almost as many turnovers as points at 36 minutes (8 points, 6 turnovers), the Hawks sink very quickly in the third quarter (the difference reaches +27), while Miami mercilessly takes the point home before an insignificant fourth quarter.
At home, driven by a flawless performance on both ends of the field, the Heat hit very, very hard from the start (115-91). The Hawks were trampled throughout the game, and will have to react urgently on Tuesday, in Game 2, on pain of leaving Atlanta 0-2, with considerable pressure on the shoulders.
WHAT TO REMEMBER
– Bring Young the villain, Act II. Hated by Madison Square Garden last year during the Knicks-Hawks series, “Ice Trae” has made new enemies in Florida. Following a clash with Jimmy Butler in the opening minutes of the game, the Atlanta All-Star was whistled at and taunted for the mixed game of him for the rest of the game. Love him or hate him, we have to admit that Trae Young is perfect in this villainous role.
– The discreet but reassuring return of John Collins. Missing since March 11 with a double injury to his foot and hand, the Hawks’ strong winger was back for Game 1. If he wasn’t a big help in keeping his team from sinking, he still cared. his recovery, with 10 points (4/6) and 4 rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench.
– The fluidity of the Heat’s attack. Who finishes with an impressive 52.4% shooting success (43/82), and 47.4% from behind the arc (18/38). Known for his defense, Miami also crushed the Hawks with their offense, and that’s very bad news for Trae Young and his family.
✅ The Heat’s defense. The club signed one of its best performances of the entire season in defense. Focusing all their attention on Trae Young early on, Miami lopped off the snake’s head and the Hawks quickly found themselves in hot water. In this Game 1, Atlanta is having its worst half of the season from a management point of view, leaning at the end of a service that can easily be described as disastrous (29/75, 10/36 three-pointers, 18 turnovers). ball for 16 assists).
✅ PJ Tucker. A great Heat defensive game often rhymes with a performance from PJ Tucker. The muscular handyman from Miami offered a game with 16 points and 5 rebounds, including a 4/4 behind the arc. As usual, the strong winger punished at the corner, capitalizing on a two-man catch on Bam Adebayo on the racket.
✅ Duncan Robinson. The Heat sharpshooter signed his new playoff record, with 27 points at 8/9 behind the 3-point line. Slippery when he navigates behind the screens, especially those of Bam Adebayo, the back gave the Falcons’ outsiders a headache. His outside direction 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 unsuccessful playoff series last year against Milwaukee, “Jimmy Buckets” set the record straight for this Game 1. Motivated, vocal and committed to physical combat, he signs a complete game: 21 points (9/15), 6 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals.
⛔️ Bring Young. Logically targeted as a priority by the Miami defense, the leader of the Hawks, dazzling during the two games of the ‘play-in’, took a cold shower in this first game of the series. Harassed behind the screens, pushed on every dribble, Sooner’s ex had a very bad time, perhaps the worst game of his entire career. He didn’t score a single point in the second half, finishing with just 8 points on 1/12 shooting (0/7 3-point shooting), 6 rebounds and 4 assists, but 6 turnovers.
Game 2: in Miami, on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday, at 1:30 am