Well, it took ten minutes longer than it should have. But the Atlanta Hawks still managed to pull out a scrappy 126-119 double-overtime victory against the Detroit Pistons.
Whether you want to look at it as Atlana playing mediocre basketball or Detroit just rising to the occasion, this one was pretty much everything you didn’t think it would be. At least other than all the Josh Smith clanks from fifteen feet and out.
Regardless, it’s just another excellent opportunity for us overreact to and over-analyze every Hawks performance. (Players will not appear if they did not play at least 15 minutes. So sorry Ivan Johnson fans, I’m just still not sure how to capture the magnitude of everything he brings to the table with a single letter)
Jeff Teague: A (co-player of the game)
Teague and Williams combined for all of Atlanta’s 18 points in the second overtime. It’s as good a reason as any to cite them as co-MVP’s for this game. Teague finished with 17 points and 11 assists, as well as two steals and two blocks. He was also a perfect 8-8 at the line.
Lou Williams: A (co-player of the game)
Lou stepped up in a big way Wednesday night, shooting 7-14 from the field for 18 points and hauling in 8 rebounds to couple with his 7 assists. His production went beyond the box score as well, as he managed to draw a key charge to eventually set up a Teague bucket. It looked an awful lot like Williams might have some intangibles we didn’t know about in his back pocket.
Kyle Korver: C
2-11 from the field and 2-9 from beyond the arc. Ouch. He did, however, knock down a crucial three to ice the game in overtime.
Josh Smith: B+
His stat line in this one is an A+.. no doubt. However, his shot selection and decision making were a different story altogether. A dark story. The kind you don’t tell your kids.
That said, his play was sensational through three quarters and Atlanta probably wouldn’t have won this one without his hot start. He finished with 31 points on just below .500 shooting, grabbed 10 boards and had 6 assists. He also notched two steals and two blocks. Brilliant production + a billion air balls in crunch time + one point in all three periods following the fourth quarter = a very frustrated and confused fan base.
Al Horford: B
Is he back, is he not back? I’m still not sure at this point. His 22 points and 10 rebounds on the night says he is. His lackluster defense says he is not.
Anthony Morrow: B+
Morrow will have bragging rights over Korver next practice. 6-10 for 16 points and he knocked down three of his five attempts from downtown.
DeShawn Stevenson: C
8 points on 3-7 shooting and three assists in 26 minutes. If you’re looking for something special, it’s not there.
Zaza Pachulia: C
Pedestrian night on the glass for Pachulia with only four boards in 22 minutes. Hawks could have used a better effort in that department, finishing with a 47-62 deficit on the boards at the horn.
You can watch Korver try to settle the score from deep with Morrow against the Pacers on NBA League pass, NBA All-Access radio or on Fox Sports South Friday night (12/28) at 7 PM (ET).