Of mice, of men … the Hawks were the predator and the Wizards were the prey. Early, both teams were cold. I’ll concur with a comment of Wiz broadcast TV HOFer (or at least he should be if he’s not … if that type of thing exists), Steve Buckhantz, who said that unlike versus the Pistons, the Wizards started against Atlanta with energy. They just couldn’t buy a basket, and neither could the Hawks in the beginning.
The Wizards should have felt at home though, the Phillips Arena looked dwarfed by the Verizon Center in capacity. After getting down by as many as 22 points, 40-18 with 3:43 left in the second quarter, the Wizards made the game competitive, getting as close as two points, 66-64, with 11:41 left in the game. But they never could get over a seven point hump late in the fourth quarter.
The Wizards were bested by only 43.5% shooting from the Hawks and a couple ineffectual turnovers. They lost to the better team, and not necessarily because of lack of effort, but because they are not very good.
It’s worth observing that their reason to play inspired basketball has drastically dwindled. If two things plague this team most, one is lack of discipline, which is on the account of the players inconsistently following Flip Saunders’ game plan and often free-styling at crucial points of the game. The second is that the Wizards are not hungry, as in, ‘Did you see D-League call-up Mario West hustle his ass off?’ West had four offensive rebounds in 12 minutes.