Postgame Thoughts: Hawks Gain Revenge On Suns
A few thoughts coming up on the Hawks’ 107-94 win over the Suns at Philips Arena:
– This is what you call a professional win. The Suns are just not a very good basketball team right now, but the Hawks asserted themselves fairly early, and cruised to a double-digit win without much muss or fuss.
– Josh Smith returned from missing the Lakers game with a knee bruise, and make himself pretty useful the entire night, pacing the team in every positive statistical category on the night. Smoove finished with the lead in points (17), rebounds (tied with Al Horford with 11), assists (7), steals (tied with Devin Harris with 3), and blocks (four players each had 1).
– Speaking of Horford, Big Al got off to a quiet start shooting the ball and was only 1-6 from the field in the first half. To be fair, it was a pretty sweet bucket. But he turned it up in the second and finished with 16 points and 11 rebounds. The Hawks are now 15-2 when he and Josh each nab double-doubles.
– Atlanta extended its franchise record with 10+ 3-pointers in a game for the 25th time this season, hitting 12-23 (52.2%) on the night from beyond the arc. Included in that total was one from Johan Petro, who hit just his second career trey right before the first-quarter buzzer. DeShawn Stevenson also nailed a buzzer-beater, hitting a 3 at the half to give the Hawks a 57-46 lead at the break.
– Jeff Teague returned from missing the Lakers game with an injury as well, but took a backseat literally and figuratively tonight to his teammate, Devin Harris. Harris did most of his damage in the first half (scoring all of his 15 points), but set the tone with repeated drives into the paint for buckets. One thing I love about the Hawks is how different players put pressure on the opponents. Harris looks for any nook and cranny to get to the bucket on the break, and Kyle Korver needs just the slightest opening from distance. Both require constant attention when they are in the game, and open things up for their teammates.
– Korver 3-point streak? Intact and then some, as KK hit 4-5 from downtown on his way to 16 points. I don’t think I’ve had the pleasure of rooting for a truly world-class 3-point shooter before this season, and I have to say, it is just all kinds of enjoyable.
TCOB, that’s what tonight was for the Hawks. 2 straight wins puts them into 5th place by themselves as of this writing, with a chance to catch the Nets for 4th on Sunday night in Brooklyn. Going to be a big game, that.
A nice game, and a fun halftime concert from C&C Music Factory. What more could you want?