Postgame Thoughts: Hawks at Cavaliers
A few thoughts coming up on the Hawks’ 102-94 road win over the Cavaliers in Cleveland on Friday night:
– A tip of the cap to Jeff Teague, who scored a career-high 27 points and dished out 8 assists in the win. Hawks coach Larry Drew has been on Teague of late to play more aggressively, and the starting point guard took that to heart tonight, repeatedly getting into the lane and not hesitating when he had open looks from distance either. When JT plays well, good things typically happen for this team.
– A game after letting the Pistons score 39 points in the fourth quarter, the Hawks defense really stepped up in the final quarter, outscoring the Cavs 27-14 to turn a deficit into an 8-point victory. It’s all the more impressive when you consider that Josh Smith sat out the final 12 minutes with soreness in his hip.
– The injuries are starting to pile up a bit (as they do for most teams when they hit the meat of the schedule), but so far the Hawks are getting nice contributions from players stepping into larger roles. With Ivan Johnson out sick, Devin Harris still nursing a sore foot, and DeShawn Stevenson sitting out the front end of a back-to-back, Atlanta got excellent work from Anthony Tolliver (a season-high 13 points), and saw effective minutes from rookies Mike Scott and John Jenkins.
– In the previous loss to Cleveland at Philips Arena back on November 30, the Hawks were outrebounded 49-28. Clearly a point of emphasis tonight, Atlanta took a 43-40 edge on the glass in picking up the road win.
That’s now 8 road wins on the season for the Hawks, and a three-game winning streak as the team heads home to face the rejuvenated Pacers Saturday night at Philips Arena.
What’d you think?