Postgame Thoughts: Hawks Sting Hornets in New Orleans
A few thoughts coming up after the Hawks’ 95-86 road win over the Hornets in New Orleans:
— So many interesting things about this team’s performance this season, but one that stands out in particular has been the Hawks’ dominance in the second night of back-to-backs. With the win over the Hornets on Tuesday night, Atlanta is now 7-1 this season when playing for the second time in two nights.
— What a game by Josh Smith tonight. New Orleans really had no answer for him, and Smoove took advantage in the post time and time again with an assortment of moves on his way to yet another stat-stuffing evening. No biggie, just your average 23-point, 13 rebound, 7 assist, 4 block and 3 steal performance. The Hawks were sort of sluggish through the first half, but then Josh put the team on his shoulders in the third to put the team in control and hold strong for the win. In the process, Smith picked up the 5000th rebound of his career, only the 8th player in franchise history to hit that milestone.
— Zaza Pachulia had another terrific night, putting up a double-double of 12 points and 10 rebounds in just under 20 minutes of action. Ok, I’ll say it. Is Zaza having his best season of his career?
— As quietly as his jumpers tickle the twine, John Jenkins has perhaps established himself as part of the Hawks rotation going forward. Coming off his career-high 15 against the Rockets, Jenkins was a team-high +11 in 18:45, scoring 7 points on 3-4 from the field. Larry Drew is going to have some decisions to make when Anthony Morrow and Devin Harris return to action.
— Al Horford has been shooting lights out ever since his 2-10 performance in the loss at Philadelphia. In the last six games, Horford has shot 63% from the field (53-84), and hit several crucial contested jumpers down the stretch when New Orleans was threatening.
This was a professional win, no doubt about it. The Hornets had energy early on and seized the lead at home, but the Hawks never panicked and kept after it until the better team won out. 20-10 now on the season for Atlanta, and the team gets a couple of days to rest before they head to Detroit for a rematch with the rejuvenated Pistons.