It was a really uneven effort for the Hawks tonight. A bad shooting first quarter for both teams (The Wiz shot bad the whole night) and a big lead in the second quarter that was ultimately dwindled away describe the game pretty well. The Hawks played well in spurts, but ultimately were too much for the undermanned Wizards team defeating the 94-82.
The Hawks were a little undermanned themselves as ZaZa Pachulia didn’t play due to the flu and Mo Evans missed the game due to the birth of his child. Because of the shortage of players Mario West had a homecoming of sorts logging 12 minutes in his first game back with the club and scoring 5 points.
While the Hawks were sluggish at times tonight they made it count when they needed to. They hammered the Wizards inside outscoring them 50-22 in the paint. They also held the advantage in fast break points by a 21-3 margin. Joe Johnson led the way for the Hawks scoring 24 points and Jamal Crawford followed closely behind with 22 points of his own. Josh Smith didn’t shoot the ball well (only 2-8 from the field) but had a well rounded stat line of 10 points, 11 rebounds, and 8 assists barely missing a triple double. Mike Bibby had an off night shooting 1 of 7 and 0 of 4 from deep scoring only 2 points.
In recap this was a game that the Hawks basically coasted through, building a big lead only to let it shrink down again. It’s a victory that they absolutely had to have as a loss would have destroyed what small amount of momentum the Boston victory gave them. Hopefully playing at home can get them back on the right track. The team has now won 4 of its last 5 games and this win moved the Hawks to a half game out of first in the Southeast Division due to Orlando’s loss in Denver. If they can finish off the home stand well they may in fact find themselves in the division lead by the time they head back out on the road. If there was anything to be disappointed in it was the attendance to the game. Less than 10,000 showed up for it and there were far fewer than that in the seats when the game tipped off. The Hawks have given Atlanta a good product this year and we don’t need to wait until the playoffs to start showing up to see it.