CHICAGO — The Hawks felt good about their game plan entering Wednesday’s NBA Play-In Tournament matchup against the Bulls.

But like much of their 2023-24 season, things didn’t go according to plan.

Limiting the scoring opportunities of Bulls star DeMar DeRozan was somewhat successful, but his teammates picked up the slack in the 131-116 victory. Coby White scored a career-high 42 points, and Nikola Vucevic added 24 and 12 rebounds as Chicago advanced to Friday’s road game in Miami for the Eastern Conference’s No. 8 playoff seed.

As for the Hawks, they headed home with their first-ever loss in the Play-In and a lot of questions heading into the offseason.

“At the beginning, we never thought that we’d be in this position,” Trae Young said after Wednesday’s game. “Obviously, injuries made it tough on us, and we were able to still be in this position to give ourselves a chance.”

Young scored 22 points (on 4-of-12 shooting) while playing with a brace following ligament surgery. And the absence of injured frontcourt players Saddiq Bey, Jalen Johnson and Onyeka Okongwu was quite evident against Chicago bigs Vucevic and Andre Drummond.

But the Hawks, who played short-handed for most of the final stretch of their 36-46 regular season, felt good about their chances entering the play-in tournament matchup against the Bulls, who they defeated in their last visit to Chicago.

Their plan of attack in the game – push the ball on offense in an attempt to keep the ball out of the hands of DeRozan, who was effective early and finished with 22 points.

“DeMar started early, making shots,” Hawks coach Quin Snyder said. “You’re game planning to try to get the ball out of his hands, if it’s appropriate. We did a bunch of different things.”

Young opened the night 1-of-5 overall, but got to the free-throw line early.

But with the Hawks’ offense running tepid in the first quarter, it bled into the their defense, with the Bulls scoring in transition. They scored plus-4.9 points per 100 transition plays off of live rebounds.

“But our offense hurt our defense at times,” Snyder said. “They were really good in transition when they made the runs. That’s a hard one to ‘game plan’ against.”

Though the Hawks could pick a part Wednesday’s game heading into the offseason, they will focus on how they acted when things did not go according to plan.

“We didn’t come out and make enough plays,” Young said after the game. “I mean, that’s part of it, they were making a lot of plays.”

Now, the Hawks head into the offseason and after a moment to reset, they’ll look to readjust and come up with a new plan.