The Hawks snapped a six game road losing streak by outscoring the Washington Wizards 105-95. The win helped maintain their slim one game advantage against the Boston Celtics for the third seed in the Eastern Conference.
This game was a victory and I am not going to short change any win especially if it comes on the road. The Hawks once again failed to maintain their defensive intensity throughout only to somewhat clamp down in the fourth quarter which led to the final margin of victory. Lets face it the Wizards don’t defend a lot and if you don’t defend them they can put up some points.
Jamal Crawford scored a game high 28 points and particularly shot the Hawks back into the game in the third quarter. Joe Johnson in his second game back from the sprained thumb scored at efficient 20 points on 8-14 shooting.
With the Hawks putting together a good fourth quarter and Mike Woodson wanting to cut some players minutes heading into the playoffs ZaZa Pachulia and Mo Evans played nearly the entire fourth quarter. I won’t say that the effort was earned because while watching the game I thought their effort defensively was as much a reason for the Hawks overcoming the deficit in the third quarter and pushing out the lead in the fourth. I was glad to see Coach Woodson ride the hot hand defensively so to speak.
In all actuality we have seen more of the Pachulia and Horford combination front court as of late and it appears that we are rounding out the eight man rotation that will be used come playoff time. At this point I would guess that Joe Smith is in the ninth spot but his play really has been less than spectacular but it could be to a lack of minutes.
So two more games in the regular season and then the playoffs begin. Miami trails Milwaukee by a half a game for the fifth spot so nothing is set in terms for match ups in the first round. If the Hawks would in fact rather play Milwaukee in the first round then they could definitely could help lock that up by defeating the Bucks on Monday night. That is the match up that I want despite how well they have played in the absence of Bogut. I really would much rather the Celtics have to deal with Dwayne Wade in the first round of the playoffs.
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