Sometimes in the middle of a tense playoff race blinders are put on and everything breaks down into if a team should win, or if they should lose. Even though it was a back-to-back, the Bobcats probably should have won tonight's game at home.
That said, they didn't win tonight's game at home against the Hawks. They didn't win because the Hawks are a good team that has been ravaged by injuries for much of the season. So while the Bobcats were the team that was supposed to win, this wasn't a shocking loss by any means. It wasn't even a bad loss. It was one of the many losses that take place during an NBA season.
In the first half of this game, it didn't even look like it was going to be a loss. Although they were not in complete and total control, the Bobcats looked like the better team in a lot of ways. They were moving the ball well, hitting their open shots from three, and playing their usual great defense. It was business as usual for a team that was on a roll.
At the start of the second half, I don't know if their legs gave out; maybe the Hawks made better executions; or maybe the first half was a fluke and the Bobcats were actually never playing all that well. Either way, the Hawks were right on their tail. Paul Millsap let it be known early in the third quarter that he wouldn't go down quietly. He dominated whomever the Bobcats threw on him for 28 points on 20 field goal attempts.
The defense became sluggish. Simple ball movement got the Hawks wide open looks and the Bobcats weren't doing a very good job of contesting. These weren't just mid-range shots either. The Hawks bombed long range shots from all over and hit them at a decent clip (38 percent, to be exact).
This game actually reminded me of how the Bobcats looked in 2013. Bad jump shots, a lot of missed open threes, random moments of bad defense, and ultimately a lack of offense mixed in with the moments of bad defense cost them any chance at a win. You kind of knew it was over when the Hawks took a 17-point lead early in the fourth. The Hawks got a well deserved win and the Bobcats earned their loss.