For the first time in this series, the Atlanta Hawks played like the team that dominated the East in the regular season. It just so happened to be in game 6 of their series with the Brooklyn Nets, winning 111-87 to claim a 4-2 victory, moving on to face the Washington Wizards.
The Hawks shot 13-of-18 from the field in the first quarter, 10 of those baskets off of assists. The ball moved well and the Nets weren’t able to turn the game into a half court muck fest. Jeff Teague didn’t score and yet the Hawks don’t need him to. They’re fine with him finding open players and with his cuts creating opportunities, finishing with 13 assists.
The rest of the team made up for his 0 on the scoring column. Kyle Korver scored 20 points (6-of-10 from beyond the arc); Paul Millsap had his best game of the series with 25 points, finally looking like his shoulder isn’t bothering him anymore Al Horford finished with 18 points, while DeMarre Carroll looked like someone with a contract expiring soon, scoring 20 points, finishing as the team’s leading scorer in the first round, averaging 17.5 points per game.
The Nets looked like a team that knows that this might be the last time they make the playoffs in a while. They’re getting older and are never fully healthy. Worst of all is the enormous cap commitments to Joe Johnson and Deron Williams over the next two seasons. Brook Lopez and Thad Young can opt out of their deals this offseason (Lopez probably won’t), and without any draft picks or good ones, it’s hard seeing the Nets being a factor in the East in the next couple of years at least.