Few expected the Atlanta Hawks to beat the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.

Not only did Kevin Durant, Kyrie Irving and company enter the game as owners of basketball’s longest winning streak, but the Hawks were playing without Trae Young, Clint Capela and De’Andre Hunter, leaving them without one of basketball’s preeminent offensive engines and two impactful defenders at the game’s most important positions on that side of the ball.

Atlanta put up a fight worthy of victory regardless, ultimately falling to Brooklyn 108-107 after Irving came alive for 15 points in the fourth quarter. The Hawks had a chance to win on the game’s last possession, but Dejounte Murray’s deep three-point attempt over Irving and Durant as time expired clanked off the back of the rim, sealing the Nets’ 10th straight victory.

After the game, some especially vocal Hawks fans expressed their displeasure at coach Nate McMillan’s decision to not call a timeout after his team grabbed a defensive rebound to set up Murray’s missed game-winner. Among those defending that choice? Murray himself, who noted on Twitter Thursday morning that had he made both free throws on Atlanta’s prior offensive possession instead of just one, the Hawks would’ve gone to overtime regardless.

“Dejounte Makes Both Free Throws And We Go To OT And Calling A Timeout Doesn’t Matter!!! That S*** On Me And Not On Nate SIMPLE AS THAT!!!!!!”

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Kudos to Murray for coming to McMillan’s defense and drawing attention to his role in Atlanta’s late-game labors.

It’s not uncommon for coaches to elect against calling timeout in that very scenario, preferring to attack a defense scrambling after a miss than letting the opponent set up their halfcourt defense following a stoppage. Nets coach Jacque Vaughn had previously subbed out both Ben Simmons and Nic Claxton, his team’s best defenders, to create the most advantageous offensive environment possible, too.

The Hawks, 17-18, have been among the league’s most disappointing teams this season, failing to level up in the Eastern Conference after swinging a blockbuster trade for Murray over the offseason. Recent rumors indicate Young could try and force his way out of Atlanta if the team doesn’t quickly improve, and simmering tension between he and McMillan predates 2022-23.

Atlanta needs to batten down the hatches to salvage its season before major changes are made. Maybe Murray standing up for McMillan sets an example for the Hawks that galvanizes them toward a much-needed turnaround.