Postgame Thoughts: Hawks Top Pacers In Game of Runs
Wow, you missed an exciting one if you didn’t make it down to Philips Arena tonight. In a game that pinballed back and forth all night, the Hawks got hot at the right time and pulled out a victory over the Pacers 89-86 to move to 2-1 on the young season.
A few thoughts from the thrilling win:
— Welcome back, Josh Smith. It wasn’t Smoove’s finest night, but he was big at the start and at the finish. Early on he was unstoppable against the Pacers’ defense, scoring 9 of his 11 points in the first quarter as the Hawks started strong. Then near the end, his offensive rebound kept a Hawks’ possession alive and led to a Jeff Teague 3-pointer that finally gave the Hawks a fourth-quarter lead. Then, after Lance Stephenson cut Atlanta’s lead to 1, Smith made a wonderful pass to Lou Williams off the inbounds for an uncontested dunk to make it 89-86, a score that would stand after Indy couldn’t find a game-tying 3.
— “Shooters shoot.” Allen Iverson used to tell that to Kyle Korver all the time when the two were in Philly, and for Korver it is a mantra for his NBA career. He hasn’t been able to hit much of anything so far this season, but that all changed in the 4th quarter tonight as he hit several big shots to trim the Pacers’ lead from 12 to 1 in nearly the blink of an eye.
— Talk about a game of runs. After the Hawks built a double-digit lead in the first half, the Pacers turned the game on its ear with an 18-0 run in the third quarter to take a 14-point lead, a run that saw the Hawks miss any number of different shots and pick up a couple of techs for their troubles. Karma taketh, but them karma giveth as well, as the Hawks put together a game-ending 20-3 run to turn what could have been a very frustrating loss into a character-defining comeback win.
— Speaking of character, how about this Hawks team so far? Yeah, a win over Houston would have been nice, but the Hawks never gave in in that one and nearly pulled off a similar win. To follow that up with a road win over the defending Western Conference champs, on the road, without Josh, and then with tonight’s double-digit fourth-quarter comeback? This team has a lot of new faces, but the chemistry they are building early is very, very promising.
— It’s nice to prove you have the guts to come from behind, but the Hawks will want to try to avoid that strategy if they can when the world champs come to town Friday night. You aren’t going to want to miss that one.
Ok, your turn — what’d you think of the game? Let us know in the comments.