It was a clash of divisional titans Monday evening, as the Hawks battled the Heat in Miami. There’s actually only two teams in the Southeast division above .400, so I guess “titans” is a little generous.. but whatever.
Atlanta came into the contest as the only team in the NBA holding every single opponent to under 50 percent from the field. Most recently being a signature win over an emerging Memphis Grizzlies team, where the Hawks held them to their lowest scoring output of the season.
So naturally, the Heat went on to shoot 58% from the floor. Including a lights out 11-13 shooting performance from Dwyane Wade, a decisive 14-2 run in the third quarter by Miami and LeBron James being.. well, he was LeBron James.
But as always, what good is a loss unless I get to over-analyze and overreact to every players performance. (Players will not appear if they did not play at least 15 minutes)
Josh Smith: B
Josh Smith was 4-5 from beyond the arc. Although it’s bittersweet performance in it’s own right. Because for the next few games we all know he’ll launching threes in transition, thinking he’s Shuttlesworth. But it is what it is. Anomaly or not.
That said, it was a decent game for Smith. We saw some versatility offensively, as he frequently looked to finish with running hooks with his back to the basket. And he looked engaged for the majority of the game. At least more so than his stat line would read.
He only finished with 3 rebounds, but also notched 6 assists. Which was essentially the story of this game and his season so far. Tremendous in one area, dreadful in another.
Al Horford: A
Horford not only be a pillar of consistency for the Hawks, but continues to make some serious noise in for his All-Star campaign. He notched his sixth consecutive double-double and showed yet again that Atlanta performs better when the offense is being run through him.
Horford finished the night with 20 points, 11 rebounds and 2 steals. He also shot 8-14 from the field.
Devin Harris: F
Five personal fouls, four missed threes, 2 rebounds and a lonely steal. It’s like the twelve days of Christmas on how to get an F.
I realize there was no three in there. But it seemed appropriate considering.
Jeff Teague: D
Teague continues to struggle with his shot, converting just 3 of his 10 attempts. He’s now shooting 35 percent over the last five games. Headlined by the fact he had more attempts than points last week. Finishing with 41 points on 51 shots.
He finished with 11 points, 3 assists to his 5 turnovers and 3 rebounds. If you’re feeling depressed at this point, you can hold onto the fact he had two steals. I guess.
DeShawn Stevenson: C
Stevenson took 11 threes. No, that’s not a typo.
Granted he was open for most of them. Although, at some point you’d think he might realize he’s open for a reason.
Fortunately, he did knock down four of them on his way to 12 points. That was about all he contributed. Unless you consider mediocre defense something to get riled up about.
Zaza Pachulia: D
Three rebounds, one assist. Decidely Un-Zaza. The one assist was actually pretty nice though.
Anthony Morrow: C+
Sample size performance with 16 minutes, but he was effective with it nonetheless. Went 3-4 for 6 points and had a swipe.
Lou Williams: B-
11 points, 4 assists, 2 steals and he knocked down all five attempts at the charity stripe. The Hawks actually shot 95 percent(19-20) from the line as a whole. Something certainly worth noting.
Lou didn’t have the most efficient game shooting wise, as he went 3-8 and missed all three attempts from downtown. But who cares, it’s Lou Williams. He’ll probably drop 20 next game.. right?
The Hawks will now look to bounce back against the Magic in Orlando Wednesday, Dec. 12th. You can catch the game live on NBA League Pass or on Fox Sports South at 7 PM, ET.