Okay, so Kevin Durant is good at basketball.
“He’s very, very talented,” Hawks swingman DeShawn Stevenson said of Durant. “Sometimes you can play good defense but even good defense is not good enough for a guy who is 7-foot tall with a jump shot like that, with a handle. Tonight he had a great night. It was his night.” (via AJC)
That quote pretty much sums up the entire night. It wasn’t even that the Hawks played bad defense. They tried a number of man defenders, double-teams and zones, but when Durant is feeling it, there’s really nothing a defense can do. Durant finished the game with 41.
That said, a couple of Hawks really stepped up in the loss. And considering it’s the holiday season, that what we’ll try to focus on. Players won’t appear if they did not play at least 15 minutes. Because absolutely no one actually wants to read a paragraph on Anthony Tolliver.
Jeff Teague: A (Player of the game)
It’s nice to see Teague finally break this sub-par groove he’s been in. He finished with 19 points on 9-13 shooting and had nine assists with only one turnover. He let Russell Wesbrook be a jump shooter, so I consider that solid defense as well.
Kyle Korver: B
Four steals and three blocked shots. I’m still trying to grasp that too.
DeShawn Stevenson: D
Allow me to reiterate the fact Kevin Durant is good at basketball. So it’s not that the effort wasn’t there by Stevenson, because it was. But 41 points. He did manage to notch two steals on the night, although he missed all three of his field goal attempts.
Josh Smith: B+
I’m not going to get into the fact Smith continues to launch threes. It’s been overstated and it’s clearly not going to change. Regardless, he basically had your run-of-the-mill Josh Smith night, which is obviously still pretty great. He finished with 17 points on 8-19 shooting, 12 rebounds, 3 assists and 2 blocked shots.
Al Horford: C
After such a stellar start to the season, Horford has hit a major shooting slump. Major. Fortunately, he did managed to knock down about half of his attempts outside of the paint. He still pretty on a pretty dreadful shooting display. Finishing on 5-14 shooting for 13 points he finished with six rebounds and three steals. Stop looking for anything impressive, it’s not there. The three steals are kind of nice, I suppose.
Lou Williams: C
High volume, mediocre results. That’s been the trend lately for Williams. He had more field goals than points, finishing with 13 points on 5-15 shooting. Although he did shoot 3-5 from deep and tallied two steals. It’s really just another performance to have mixed emotions over.
Zaza Pachulia: B+
10 rebounds in 18 minutes typically equals great night in my book, especially when five of those boards happen to be offensive.
The Hawks will now look to take on the Philadelphia 76ers. You can watch the game live on NBA League Pass, listen to it for free on NBA All-Access radio or catch it locally on Fox Sports South on Dec. 21 at 7:30 PM (ET).