December 18, 2012; Washington, D.C., USA; Atlanta Hawks forward Josh Smith (5) blocks the shot of Washington Wizards forward Nene (42) at Verizon Center. Mandatory Credit: Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports

Hawks vs Wizards: Post-Game Analysis

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The game started with crisp ball movement but also some ill-advised passes, resulting in 7 first quarter turnovers from the Hawks. Some hot shooting kept the Wizards in the game, shooting 9-17 in the first quarter. From there, both sides shot poorly, en route to a sloppy 100-95 win for the Atlanta Hawks over the Washington Wizards.

The story of the game was Jordan Crawford, the former Atlanta Hawk selected in 2010 21st overall then traded with Mike Bibby for Kirk Hinrich. He had a triple double, aided by the overtime, and hit numerous long bombs, going 5-10 from beyond the arc. His 11 assists tied a career high and 11 rebounds set a new high.

Ivan Johnson left the game in the second quarter and got 4 stitches on his hand between his ring finger and pinky. Devin Harris also left the game with a sore left foot and did not return. Anthony Tolliver started the second half for the Hawks due to lack of depth. Deshawn Stevenson came into the game in the third and returned for the fourth and overtime to hit a dagger three pointer set up by Josh Smith in the overtime period.

The game was a close one from wire to wire, as the Hawks could never quite pull away. Lou Williams hit a step back three with the clock under a minute, sandwiched by two Wizards jumpers by Bradley Beal and Earl Barron, to send the game to overtime.

Brad Beal, the number 2 overall pick earlier this year had an inefficient 17 points on 22 shots but Nene had 18 points on 7 shots by being aggressive in the paint and getting to the line 10 times. Earl Barron stepped into a shallow front court for the Wizards and grabbed 14 rebounds in only 26 minutes of play.

The overall rebounding margin was tied at 49 and Al Horford and Josh Smith combined for 24 for the Hawks.

Lou Williams and Josh Smith got to the free throw line 21 of the 34 total team chances, with Lou hitting 10 of his 11 and Josh only going 5-10. With such poor shooting night from both teams, this was key down the stretch in the 4th quarter and overtime sealing the victory.

Frustrations remain for this Atlanta Hawks team that looks to be the third best team in the Eastern Conference, at least by record, and their inability with all their weapons to have a consistent quality offensive output, especially against bad teams, and failing to defend the perimeter well against an undermanned team. A win is a win nonetheless but the Hawks need to play better to have any shot against the Oklahoma City Thunder riding an 11 game winning streak tomorrow night in Philips Arena.

Game Balls

1. Josh Smith: He had 13 rebounds, 5 blocks and 3 steals and was the only paint protector with Al, Ivan and Zaza failing to impress at all in this game.

2. Kyle Korver: He had 16 points on 6 shots as well as 7 rebounds and logged 39 minutes without Deshawn Stevenson for most of the game to provide relief.

3. Deshawn Stevenson: This seems like an odd selection since he only played 13 minutes but he had nice drive to the basket for an And-1 opportunity and hit big three pointer in the overtime period. Frankly, no other Hawk played well enough to warrant a game ball. Plus, Deshawn was determined to make Wizards fans remember he never could feel his face.

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Tags: Atlanta Hawks Washington Wizards

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