The Atlanta Hawks turned triumphant in the first game of the Playoffs against Brooklyn Nets during their first round clash with the score reading 99-92.
But this victory over the Nets, who had to wait till the last day of the regular season to grab a Playoff spot, should not come as a surprise. The Hawks looked in sublime form throughout the NBA regular season where they won 60 and lost 22 matches. Meanwhile, the Nets won 38 games and lost 44.
Though, the Hawks are favourites to defeat Nets in the first round series, they did not come up with a performance, which would strengthen their favourite tag.
The Hawks did not look at their menacing best during the end of the season as well, as they lost three consecutive games. But with Game 2 coming up against the Nets on Wednesday at Philips Arena, they need to prove themselves and come up with a performance that helped them stay atop the Eastern Conference.
But, the Hawks suffered a major blow in the first game with Al Horford dislocating his right little finger and questions were raised about his availability for Game 2. It would not be a huge surprise if the star player turns up with his finger being taped as well.
The hero of the first game was Hawks' Kyle Krover, who score 21 points and the player who banged in a number of three pointers throughout the regular season needs to be in great touch in the Playoffs for the Hawks to be a dangerous offensive unit.
Though, Horford may not have a huge Game 1, he is a key figure in the Hawks line-up. Talking about Horford's injury, "It's definitely a concern," AP quoted Krover as saying.
"Hopefully, it's not too big of a deal. But injuries are always something you're worried about."
The Nets might have taken some positives from game 1 as there was a point in the third quarter, where they were just three points away from the Hawks. Brook Lopez, Thaddeus Young, Bojan Bogdanovic and former Hawks's star player Joe Johnson need to up their game if the Nets are to challenge the Hawks.
Johnson is aware that the series is going to be a tough one. "This is going to be a tough series," AP quoted Johnson as saying. "This is one game. We've got to put it behind us."
Where to Watch Live
The NBA Playoffs Round 1 Game 2 between Atlanta Hawks and Brooklyn Nets is scheduled for 7pm ET (4:30am IST, 12am BST) start.
Viewers in the US can watch the game live on NBA TV.
There is no live coverage in India.
NBA fans can also watch the playoffs live on NBA.com