After the Hawks were blown out in Game 2 of the Eastern Conference Finals, at least one of their players still believes.
While dropping the first two games of a best-of-seven series at home has put Atlanta in a severe hole, especially when considering the injuries the team is dealing with, Kent Bazemore said he still feels like his Hawks are the better squad, and possess the ability to play much better to try to get back into the series.
“We played them in the regular season this year and got the best of them,” Bazemore said in reference to the Hawks’ 3-1 record against the Cavs this past season. “I still think we’re the better team. We just haven’t shown it yet.”
Bazemore scored seven points in 12 minutes off the bench and spent some time guarding LeBron James, who scored 30 points with 11 assists and nine rebounds.
“The bright side is we haven’t played well the first two games. We still think we’re the better team. We’ll try to get two up in Cleveland,” Bazemore said. “We’ve got to play angry.”
Hopefully this is simply a motivational tactic from Bazemore. Because if he truly believes this, then he’s completely delusional.
As we mentioned in the Game 2 recap, these Hawks are hell and gone from the dominating team that won 40 of its first 48 games of the regular season. Atlanta no longer shares the ball offensively the way it used to, when the team’s equal-opportunity offense was, for long stretches, seemingly impossible to stop.
DeMarre Carroll was completely ineffective in Game 2 as he played through a knee injury, and Kyle Korver left with an injury of his own that has his status in doubt for Game 3. These facts alone would make Bazemore’s claim seem silly. But when adding in the results of the first two games, it makes his statement patently false, and downright ridiculous.