The Numbers Don't Lie
Including the three playoff wins, the Hawks are now 9-1 this season when Joe Johnson and Jamal Crawford both score 20 points.
“When those two are playing like that is when we are at our best as a basketball team,” concluded Al Horford following the Game 4 win.
So far this series it has happened three out of four times. Jamal is averaging a team-high 24 points per game, while Joe is averaging an even 20.
So far in the postseason, it has not only been their overall play, but also the duo’s ability to close out games that has been important. In Game 3 it was Crawford’s 20-point second half, and his dramatic 3-pointer that led to the victory. In Game 4 Joe stepped up and delivered the final 10 points of the game for Atlanta.
“We are just trying to take advantage of whoever has the hot hand,” said Jamal. “For so many years I was probably the only guy on my team that really wanted the ball in that situation. To have another guy like that, I think it makes it tough for the other team.”
For now, that other team is the Orlando Magic, and their coach Stan Van Gundy is at a loss for how to slow down the Hawks’ guards. “We’ve tried a lot of guys on (Jamal) so far, and no one has been able to guard him yet. Our perimeter guys are being chewed up by him and their guards so far.”