Total Team Victory
It wasn’t the prettiest win of the season. Heck, the score was 35-34 at halftime with the Heat leading despite scoring just 11 points in the first quarter. It was downright ugly at times. BUT…. there is something to be said for being able to win the ugly games, especially on the road. Two of the “ugliest” wins of the season (Dec. 8 @ Orlando and last night) are arguably the two biggest wins.
To get the win last night the Hawks had to get contributions from the entire line-up. Marvin Williams didn’t make the trip, missing his 10th straight game with a back injury. Then the Hawks lost another starter in the third quarter when Al Horford tweaked his ankle (stay tuned to Hawks.com for Al’s status updates).
With Marvin and Al unavailable, several bench players were forced into extended minutes. Most notable were Zaza (most minutes since Dec. 3), Mo (just the second time over 30 minutes this season), and Damien Wilkins. All three veteran players made a positive impact, helping the Hawks battle through a couple cold spells and earn the victory. Damien and Zaza, as always, provided hustle and defense, while Mo stepped up to hit a couple huge baskets in overtime.
It is an 82 game season, and teams are going to have to deal with injuries and nights when shots simply aren’t falling. The result is often an ugly game. One thing is certain, it never looks ugly when the number in the win column keeps growing.