Winning Ugly by 18

Thursday, December 29, 2011
By Jon Newberry

They say that winning ugly is a staple of good teams in the NBA. So what do they say when you win ugly… by 18 points?

At times the Hawks got sloppy during Wednesday night’s home opener at the Highlight Factory, but don’t let that take away from the times that they looked like a well oiled machine poised to step into the “contender” category that is so coveted in this league.

For the second time in as many games the Hawks came out firing. They raced out to an 11-0 lead behind 3-pointers from Teague, Williams and Johnson. Their ball movement was immaculate, with players making the extra pass to get an even better look at an open shot. The game tightened in the second quarter, but Atlanta never appeared to be threatened the rest of the night.

As a unit, the starters were lights out tonight. Each of their point differentials (+/-) were better than +22.
– Marvin Williams turned in another strong performance, scoring 17 points and grabbing eight boards while playing strong inside.
– Al Horford and Josh Smith each posted double-doubles while blocking four shots combined. They convincingly outplayed the Wizards young frontcourt that features Andray Blatche and JaVale McGee.
– Joe Johnson got off to a scorching start, hitting his first three shots from behind the arc. He continues to play an excellent all-around game.

The Hawks did lose their focus in stretches, committing careless turnovers and settling for too many jump shots. That focus will be tested again on Friday when they host New Jersey, the team that they drubbed by 36 points on the road.

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