You know sometimes it is really tough being a Hawks fan. I rushed home from a long road trip today trying to make it home by tipoff only to be rewarded with an extra inning Atlanta Braves game. Now I am a Braves fan but if the Hawks are on then I want to see the Hawks. However that isn’t happening with Fox Sport South in charge, at least they do put up a score every so often to keep you informed.
So while I am waiting for the Braves to ultimately drop an extra inning game to the San Francisco Giants I go through my mail and discover that my SLAM Magazine has arrived. Now this is my first time ever subscribing to SLAM magazine and I have been very pleased with the product. I was especially excited when the report came out that the Hawks Al Horford, Joe Johnson, and Josh Smith were on the cover. So I eagerly pull out my magazine and stare at the Oklahoma City cover with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and Jeff Green on the front.
Now correct me if I am wrong but wouldn’t it make sense that if a subscriber lives in Georgia that he be sent the magazine with the local team on the cover? Is that too much to ask? Is this more blatant disrespect for this Hawks team or does this happen to other teams as well? So by the time I am through fuming over that I notice that the Braves have in fact lost to the Giants and I am treated to half time of the Hawks game. Thanks Fox Sport South.
Looking at the highlights and box score the Hawks started slow, really slow in this game. Slow to the tune of 14 first quarter points and trailed the Raptors 25-14 at the end of one. To the Hawks advantage the Raptors aren’t very defensive as they allowed the Home team to go off for 45 points in the second quarter. Jamal Crawford was red hot off the bench scoring 15 of his game high 25 points in the second quarter.
From that point on the Hawks had seized control of this game. Several times they allowed the Raptors to crawl back within single digits only to pull away again. The second half was hardly an effort to get excited over but riding a two game losing streak it was nice to come out with a victory. Joe Johnson returned from a thumb injury to score 18 points on 6-14 shooting. He had the thumb wrapped or splinted in a device similar to the one Mike Bibby wore when he was first traded to the Hawks.
I couldn’t tell that it affected his play any but that is a worry that it is hurt bad enough that it needs to be protected during games. If that is the case then maybe the team needs to shut Joe down until the playoffs begin. Josh Smith bounced back from a tough stretch of games to score 17 points and grab 10 rebounds. He was even 3-3 from the charity stripe which is a marked improvement. Al Horford continued the rebounding tear he has been on grabbing 15 boards in this game to go with 12 points and 5 assists. Horford is averaging 12.2 boards a contest over his last five games.
The win tonight was the Hawks 50th of the season. That in itself is an accomplishment they should be proud of. Sometimes as fans we will point to the games that got away and talk about what might have been. Truth is you can almost surely say the same things about any NBA team out there. Fifty wins is outstanding in a season in which many of us thought the Hawks might take a small step backwards record wise. Regular season totals are nice but the post season is what matters the most. Concerns right now are the health of Joe Johnson and the lack of focus or urgency displayed by the team down the stretch. With Boston losing to the Wizards tonight the Hawks find themselves in the third spot with three games left to play.
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