Postgame thoughts: Hawks escape with win over Raptors

Thursday, January 31, 2013
By Jaryd Wilson

A few thoughts on tonight’s 93-92 win over the Raptors:

– What a game!  The short-handed Raptors, who found out just hours before tip that Ed Davis and Jose Calderon were no longer on the team following a trade, had an inspired effort.  The Hawks never could quite get in the flow of the game enough to pull away.

– For the fifth time this month, Atlanta trailed by double digits in the second half at home.  On all five occasions, they’ve come back to take the lead, and they’ve gone onto win four of the five.  Can we call them the cardiac Hawks?  Cardiac birds?  Whatever…the point is, no deficit seems too big for this team.  The resiliency is a great thing to see.

– With a three in the first quarter tonight, Kyle Korver has now made one in 39 consecutive games.  He finished with five of them tonight, but perhaps the most important play he made was a play where he didn’t even touch the ball.  He served as a decoy on the Hawks’ final possession, which allowed Josh Smith to find Al Horford slipping the screen for an easy dunk.

– Speaking of that play, how good has Larry Drew been drawing up plays out of timeouts?  It seems like every time the Hawks get in trouble, Drew diagrams a perfect play for points.  Tonight he won the game with it.

– The final defensive possession looked like a scene out of an elementary school pickup game. Toronto had four shots at the win.  It started with a Kyle Lowry drive that was blocked by Horford.  Then Alan Anderson missed a jump shot, the Raptors won a scrum for the ball at the free throw line, DeMar DeRozan missed, then had his putback attempt blocked by Horford as the buzzer sounded.

– The Hawks were outrebounded 52-36.  They played with just two forwards on the floor at a time throughout the game and used just a three-man rotation for those two spots without Zaza Pachulia, who missed the game with a sore Achilles.

– Despite the rebounding disadvantage, both Smith and Horford had 20+ point, 10+ rebound games.  They may be undersized as a frontcourt tandem, but tonight we saw just how dangerous they can be when they’re both playing well.

– The Hawks snapped their streak of consecutive games with 100+ points tonight, but they shared the ball well, dishing out 26 assists on 36 made baskets.  Jeff Teague had a team-high seven of them.

There’s probably not a single person in the Hawks locker room who will tell you the team played well tonight. But good teams find ways to win games even when they don’t play well, and the Hawks did that tonight.  Expect a few more games like this in the coming week, as Atlanta’s next three opponents are Chicago, Indiana and Memphis.

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