More than that, McMillan said, look to the Sixers’ success on offense for this recent ability to contain the Hawks’ shooters. Philadelphia got to the rim effectively and as a result shot 53% from the field Friday, giving the Hawks fewer opportunities to run out after misses and line up favorable shots for themselves.
“We have to get more ball movement. We have to set better screens to try to free up the basketball,” he said. “But it really starts on the defensive end of the floor, though.
“We got to get stops so we can try to get out into transition and get some easy baskets and not play against a set defense for the majority of the game. That’s where it starts for us.”
Hawks guard Trae Young took 11 3′s in that Game 1 victory, but squeezed off only six Friday (making half of them). A shooter always believes the next shot is going to fall, and that seemed to be the mindset he carried out of State Farm Arena on Friday night.
Asked if he was surprised or concerned by the fall-off in the Hawks’ shooting, Young answered, “I’m never concerned. This team, these guys have worked too hard to feel down about their shot. I’m not down or worried about guys’ shots. They’re going to fall eventually, I know they will. We got to keep shooting them, keep playing with confidence out there.”
The 3-point shot is the equalizer upon which the Hawks must rely against a team like Philly. The 3-point shot gives the Hawks a puncher’s chance against a bigger bunch that has used that size so effectively on both ends of the floor to win the past two games by double digits.
But the puncher has to get back his punch.