Hawks record this week: 2-1, Season Record 28-14, percentage points ahead of Orlando for 1st place in the Southeast Division.
Game results this week:
Thunder 94 Hawks 91
Hawks 108 Kings 97
Hawks 103 Bobcats 89
The Hawks this week finish out their home stand with a 4-1 record and were able to maintain their slim lead over the Magic in the Southeast Division. The highlight of the week was knocking off Charlotte in which they came in winners of 6 games in a row and 9 of their last 10 in rather easy fashion. This Hawks team can compete at a very high level when the effort is there. They need to work to be more consistent with that effort if they want to maintain their pace amongst the other division leaders in the Eastern Conference. A tough week ahead looms for the Hawks. They begin the week traveling to Texas to take on the Rockets on Monday and the Spurs on Wednesday. Then they return home for the final regular season match up with Boston only to head right back out on the road to take on Orlando on Saturday. So a tough stretch is coming up to close out January.
Soaring Down South Player of the Week
For the week Josh Smith averaged 16 points, 9+ rebounds, and 5+ assists a game to help lead the Hawks to a 2-1 record this week. I have been very critical of Josh in the past, even wanting to trade him at times due to his unwillingness to adapt his game. However, this season Josh has taken the next step. He has all but scrapped the 3 point shot from his arsenal and has limited the 20 foot jump shots that he used to hoist with regularity. While his free throw shooting still needs to improve he is showing off improved moves around the basket and has become a good low post option for the Hawks. His passing is one of the most underrated things that I have seen that has improved as he is passing out of the post and dishing to cutting teammates with regularity. Hopefully the rest of the Eastern Conference is taking notice and Josh’s hard work will be rewarded with his first trip to the NBA All Star Game.