The Hawks bounced back last night defeating the Utah Jazz 105-100. The win was the Hawks first in Utah since 1993. Utah was missing the services of All Star Deron Williams and Andrei Kirilenko. Still after the debacle that was Friday night’s game, the Hawks needed a victory and needed badly no matter who was playing. The win enabled them to finish 2-2 on the trip and makes us think of what might have been had we been able to finish off the Warriors.
All was not perfect in this game. The Hawks got off to a fast start running themselves out to a big lead only to give it right back due to a refusal to get back on defense. It was much of what we saw in the Golden State game. The Hawks would miss a long jumper and Utah would push it up the floor most of the time with a 3 on 2 advantage. Some trips the Hawks would play good defense and cause a miss only to have a Utah player corral the offensive rebound and the put back. All the while two Hawks failed to run back at all. That is stuff that isn’t put up with at the grade school level and it can’t happen here.
Offensively Utah basically had no answer for Joe Johnson. Joe seemingly bulled his way to the basket early on over the much smaller Utah guards on his way to 28 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists. (that trade of Ronnie Brewer by the Jazz I still don’t understand) Marvin Williams was especially active early and finished with 11 points in 25 minutes of action. Al Horford had a very effective 13 despite only attempting 4 shots from the field on the night. He was 7-8 from the free throw line. I also want to point out that Mo Evans returned from his DNP Coach’s decision Friday night to score 9 points on perfect 4-4 shooting.
If anything the win last night dissipates some of the gloom and doom from Friday night however, the warning signs are still there and need to be heeded. When this team shares the ball and defends with a purpose it is an absolute beauty to watch. It almost seems that when we play good defense then we are running and sharing the ball. This team is too good now to have to rely on one player offensively.
I will take a break even road trip even though it could have seemingly been better. The Hawks open a three game home stand tomorrow to close out February. The highlight of which is Friday night’s ESPN match up against the new look Dallas Mavericks.