Quick recap, and let’s forget about this game.
It was another win, which of course, I can’t complain about. But it was another win that came pretty unconvincingly.
Somehow, the Hawks once again pulled out a come back win against inferior competition. Just like the game before this one, the Hawks were down 7 coming into the 4th quarter vs the New Jersey Nets…the Hawks ended up winning that game by 9.
How? Simple really. The Hawks started playing better in the 4th quarter and the other team showed their true colors.
Tonight was no different.
For the first 36 minutes of the game, it looked like the Hawks were going to lose to a team that had a record of (6-27) against teams with winning records, but somehow, the Hawks pulled it out in the last 12 minutes.
Down 10 to start the 3rd quarter, the Hawks outscored the Washington Wizards 27-14 in the 4th quarter to win by 3.
Basically the same story the night before this game.
Final Score: Hawks 95 | Wizards 92
SDS Player of the Game (Joe Johnson)
Scored 16 points on 6-12 shooting in 30 minutes. Not a stat line that jumps out of the sheet, but he did score 9 of his 16 points in the most crucial part of the game (the 4th quarter). Joe was huge once again down the stretch. Chris Singleton is a good defender, but he just had a hard time either staying in front of Joe Johnson, or contesting the shot hard enough to bother Joe. Joe Johnson hit the go ahead three pointer to put the Hawks up 1, and also made the two free throws to seal the game.
I predicted a 20/12/5/2/2 stat-line for Josh Smith in the preview post. He didn’t quite get that, but hey, he got close. Josh Smith finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, 2 assists, 3 steals, and 3 blocks. That’s still a really solid stat-line. His aggressiveness to the basket wasn’t seen, and neither was his will to grab a rebound, but that could be because of fatigue. He’s played some big minutes as of late, so I can’t blame him too much if his legs were too tired. It didn’t look like it was a lack of effort from Josh Smith. It actually looked like he was just tired.
Marvin Williams was the Hawks’ best bench player last night. I would have liked to see Marvin Williams start this game, simply from a match-up standpoint, but Larry Drew seems like he’s set on the lineup and is afraid to disrupt the chemistry. Maybe he was right. Marvin Williams performed off the bench…again. In 25 minutes of playing time, Marvin Williams scored 13 points on 5-11 shooting. He also grabbed 3 rebounds.
Jeff Teague looked better than John Wall
John Wall is the better of the two, but Jeff Teague looked a lot better last night. Teague had some careless turnovers in the first half, but he was aggressive all night and took control of the offense like a normal point guard should. Also showed a lot more effort on defense than usual as well. Teague finished with 9 points, 9 assists, and 5 personal fouls. Not a great stat-line but it is better than Wall’s 8 points, 3 assists, 2 turnovers in 31 minutes of playing time.
Wizards & Hawks Players & Coaches Quotes/Reactions:
Joe came in, particularly in that fourth quarter, and it took him a couple of trips up and down to get loose again. But he really got aggressive, got to attack mode, and I guess that little bit of rest we gave him in the fourth quarter did him some good, because he seemed to be more juiced up once he got back in the game.
We know we’re improving. We don’t just think it, we actually know. Only thing we have to get right is how to hold onto a big lead. We have to learn how to step on people’s throats.
Everything is easy man when you’re up eight, nine, 10, 15, 20 points, everybody is free-flowing shooting, making plays. Down the stretch, when it’s gut check time…then everybody seems to get a little tense, a little tight and then basket is not as big. We knew we had a chance.
I know some guys were tired, some guys were banged up. We were playing catch up the whole game. We got over the hump in the fourth quarter and that’s a huge, huge win for us. We are quietly starting to turn into one of those teams. We have stretches where we don’t play well, we have stretches that teams have runs on us, but we don’t panic. That’s a sign of a veteran team.
Ivan came in and played good defense on Nene, Vladi hit a big three in the fourth quarter. Marvin, he lifted us offensively. Everybody contributed. That’s what you need in these three-in-a-row stretches.
I already knew that was coming. Jordan is a great friend of mine. Any advice I can give him I’m always a phone call away. But when we play together it’s trash talking, ‘You can’t guard me.’ That’s just the way it is. I knew it was going to come down like that before the game was over, it just happened to be at a crucial part of the game.
— Jason Collins (@jasoncollins34) March 25, 2012
Extra Short Notes/Box Score Watching:
- Kirk Hinrich contributed 10 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in 31 minutes. Also scored 5 big points in the 4th quarter. Can’t complain much about his performance.
- Ivan Johnson contributed five points and six rebounds in 18 minutes. Biggest contribution was somehow being the best defender against Nene.
- Welcome back Zaza. He didn’t look like the Zaza we’ve been saying recently, but he may not be fully healthy yet. Finished with 13 points and 4 rebounds in 24 minutes.
- Jason Collins played the least impactful 6 minutes in the game. Did not get a mark in the box score in any category.
- Give Larry Drew credit in handling minutes. With this being the 2nd game of a back-to-back-to-back, Drew did his best managing minutes and resting his starters. I know Josh Smith still played 35 minutes, but that’s down from the amount of minutes he’s been playing recently.
- The Hawks record is now (29-20) and they still maintain their 6th seed spot.
- The Hawks are still tied with the Indiana Pacers for the 5th seed. Pacers have the edge since they have played 2 less games than the Hawks.
- The Hawks now post a record of (14-13) in road games this season.
- With this win, the Hawks are now only behind the Orlando Magic (3rd seed) by 2 games.
- With this win, the Hawks continue to stay ahead of the Celtics by 3 games (7th seed).
- Hawks are now 9-5 in the month of March. 5 games left in March.
I probably wouldn’t be saying this if the Hawks lost this game, but they didn’t….so here goes.
We have to start really praising this team. They are 4th in the East when it comes to most wins in the season thus far, and they have been able to accomplish that even with all the injuries and all the distractions (like the Josh Smith rumors or Tracy McGrady outburst).
It’s really pretty impressive if you think about it. With the amount of complaining fans do, you would think this is a team that is barely making the playoffs. According to the fans, the Hawks have an overpaid and overrated All-Star (Joe Johnson), a horrible head coach, a horrible bench, a point guard that can’t run the show (Teague or Hinrich), and a bunch of old veterans that shouldn’t be on the team.
If fans truly believe that, they shouldn’t be complaining. They should actually be happy, because that just means the Hawks are greatly over-achieving this season.
The Atlanta Hawks will wrap up their second and last back-to-back-to-back of the season, tonight vs the Utah Jazz in Philips Arena.
The Utah Jazz are 26-22 and are currently the hottest teams in the NBA as they hold the longest win streak in the NBA right now, winning their last 6 games.
The Hawks will be going for their 4th win in a row. They’ve only done that once this season.
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Topics: Atlanta Hawks, Game Recap, Ivan Johnson, Jason Collins, Jeff Teague, Joe Johnson, John Wall, Jordan Crawford, Josh Smith, Larry Drew, Marvin Williams, Nene, Vladimir Radmanovic, Washington Wizards, Willie Green, Zaza Pachulia