The Hawks started of hot early by getting easy shots in the paint, but then went icy-cold in the middle of the game with a flurry of turnovers. However, the bench was able to provide the spark in the fourth (courtesy of T-Mac and Pargo) to give the Hawks their first win in the month of March and their 21st overall.
Final score: Hawks 99 | Bucks 94
SDS Player of the Game (Josh Smith)
Josh played consistent all game long, limiting his jumpers and dominating the paint on both ends of the floor. This was the kind of game that I wish we could force Josh to watch everyday to remind him how great he can be when he plays to his strengths. Finished with a line of 24 points on 10/19 shooting, with 19 rebounds and 3 blocks, with 5 turnovers being his only low-light.
Hawks Bench Play Ignites Comeback
McGrady, Pargo, Ivan, and Vlad Rad all played significant minutes in the final quarter and were the ones who pulled the Hawks back into this game. Technically, Stackhouse also played in those minutes, but I wouldn’t call what he did to be all that helpful. (bad defense is bad)
I was really hoping that T-Mac would get to start with both Joe Johnson and Willie Green out with injuries, but Hinrich got the nod instead and was largely ineffective. However, Tracy made the most of his minutes in the 2nd half, putting up 7 points, 10 boards, and 5 assists in that half alone. I really think that T-Mac can consistently contribute like this, but he’s got to get playing time and he has to stay healthy. A healthy McGrady off the bench is still a dangerous weapon that Larry Drew cannot ignore.
Pargo scored largely on volume (11 points on 11 shots), but those points all came at a crucial time in the fourth. He and Radmanovic (who went 3/4 and had the game-winning three) really need to continue playing with a purpose, as their contributions were a large reason on why the Hawks started 9-2 in those first 11 games after Horford’s injury.
The team won despite turning the ball over 23 times. I wouldn’t expect a win tomorrow against OKC by giving the ball away with such impunity.
Player/Coach Quotes and Reactions:
Larry Drew on the play of the bench at the end of the game:
The energy was unbelievable and I was going to ride those guys to the very end. They got us back in it after we were down by [15 points]. It was clear our energy level in that fourth quarter was what carried us through.
Radmanovic on whether being ill affected his play:
If I’m on the court, I’m not looking for any excuses.
Pargo commenting on his energy in the 4th:
I was disappointed in my effort in the first half. I didn’t think I came out defensively with the energy and effort I needed to come out with. The second half was a new start for me. I wanted to come out and be aggressive, particularly on the defensive end.
Larry Drew on the play and leadership of Josh Smith:
I’m starting to see a Josh Smith develop into a very, very true professional. He has his moments but the things I’m starting to hear from him on the bench talking to the other players is a coaches dream. When he is out there playing with energy at both ends of the floor he makes us a better team.
Other Game Notes:
Hawks play the West-leading OKC Thunder in Philips at 7 pm on Saturday night.
Obviously, OKC is one of the best teams in the league, and has been playing exceptionally well recently with both Westbrook and Durant scoring at will. With JJ out, it is going to take an extremely cohesive effort for the Hawks to turn this game into a win.
Facebook Page: Click here.
Twitter Page (Will Sevidal): Click here.
Twitter Page (Daniel Christian): Click here.
Twitter Page (Brandon McCoy): Click here.
Twitter Page (Bo Churney): Click here.
Youtube Page: Click here.