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Stephen A. Smith Unleashes Fiery Critique on Atlanta Hawks’ Defense Following Luka Doncic’s Insane 73-Point Spectacle!


Stephen A. didn’t hold back on the Hawks after giving up 73 points to Luka Doncic

Against the Dallas Mavericks on Friday night, the Atlanta Hawks gave up 148 American basketball points, and nearly half of those points came from Mavs star Luka Doncic, whose 73-point performance goes down — at least for now, but who knows how long that’ll last with how scoring has been trending in the NBA this season — as the fourth-highest individual scoring performance in NBA history.

On Saturday’s NBA Countdown, ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith downplayed the significance of Doncic’s accomplishment, dumping a bucket of cold water all over the performance, and instead choosing to focus — quite loudly, I might add — on the well-known deficiencies of the Atlanta Hawks defense.

“You don’t mean for it to resemble the first three quarters at NBA All-Star Weekend, which is what last night looked like in Atlanta, Georgia. The Hawks, you should be ashamed of your damn selves, you really should,” is how ESPN’s loudest and most highly paid employee capped off his sermon on Saturday afternoon. Listen, I’m not gonna sit here and pretend that the Atlanta Hawks put forth a solid defensive effort on Friday night. By any measure, it was a poor defensive effort from a team that is 29th in both points allowed per game and defensive field goal percentage. But in the first three quarters of the NBA All-Star Game, there is no defense being played.

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Apologies to Stephen A. Smith for disagreeing. I know he’s hopeful that he’ll get the opportunity to debate Donald Trump — God, America is so broken — but if the former President turns down the challenge (or is behind bars before he can accept), I’ll gladly step up to the plate and see what I could do against Stephen A. in an NBA debate.

“S***, we were trying everything,” Hawks star Trae Young said after the game regarding the Hawks defensive effort, per Brad Townsend of the Dallas Morning News. “Sometimes you have to pick your poison. After he had scored, what, 60, we started doing more double teams and they started making 3s.”

This is a factually correct take on the chain of events coming from Hawks point guard and defensive liability Trae Young. Facing just a single defender for the majority of the first three quarters, Doncic couldn’t be stopped. He scored efficiently and prolifically from all three levels, hitting 7-of-11 three point attempts, 13-of-15 from inside the arc, and a perfect 10-of-10 from the free throw line. From there, the Hawks began sending more help Doncic’s way — regularly shifting the direction to his side of the floor, and trapping more aggressively to take the ball out of his hands.

Here lies the problem: Doncic’s teammates were 11-for-22 from three point range, making Atlanta pay for doubling Doncic. It was just one of those nights for a defense that is susceptible to falling victim to “one of those nights” because of their own serious defensive shortcomings.

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