Postgame Thoughts: Hawks. vs Clippers
Some thoughts on the Hawks’ impressive 104-93 victory over the Clippers Saturday night at the Highlight Factory, avenging a loss in Los Angeles earlier in the season:
– Jeff Teague. Broken record. Second straight double-double with 19 points and 11 assists, and played his much-more-celebrated fellow Wake Forest alum Chris Paul to a draw at worst.
– With the Clippers’ huge frontline coming to town, Zaza Pachulia pulled starting duty and the minutes that accompany it. Consider that decision by Larry Drew to have paid off in spades, as Zaza posted a double-double with 19 points and 12 rebounds, plus his usual assortment of hustle plays and energy boosts. I daresay Zaza is off the the best start of his career right now.
– After a quiet couple of nights, Lou Williams got back on track with an 18-point effort off the bench. This included 5 assists, and his usual assortment of foul-line trips, where he made a team-leading 6-6.
– These aren’t your father’s Hawks, nor are they your Hawks from the recent past that had the tendency to give away leads late in games when things got tight. After a huge third quarter that saw the lead balloon to as many as 27 points, the Clippers made a run (as good teams inevitably will) to cut the deficit to 10 at 91-81 with 6:52 to play. This new bunch has improved intestinal fortitude however, and never let it get any closer than that on the way to the win. It’s the same thing we’ve seen several times over already this season, and it’s an excellent trend.
– Speaking of this being a new kind of Hawks team, this is a new Hawks team. These guys are playing this well despite the fact that only a third of them were on the team when last season ended. Teamwork and chemistry take time to develop, so the fact that this roster has gelled so quickly is a credit to the players and coaches.
– Can’t say goodbye to the Clippers for the (regular?) season without a shoutout to Jamal Crawford, who added one more notch to his NBA-record 4-point play belt during the Clippers’ 4th-quarter comeback. Well played Jamal.
– Five straight now for A-Town, but no reason to stop there. The schedule remains extremely friendly, with only 4 games over the next 13 days, all at home. If the team stays focused, this could turn into something that will turn some heads around the league.
What did you think?