The Pacers came into Philips Arena in the top three in defensive efficiency and tops in three point defense. They give up 96.7 points per 100 possession and only allow teams to shoot 31.2% according to Hoopdata.com. An omen for a Hawks offense missing Josh Smith, Devin Harris and Anthony Morrow? It sure didn’t look that way Saturday night.
The Hawks torched the Pacers defense to the tune of 109 points in 88 possessions, including going 10-20 from long range (50% for you non-Math or Engineering majors). Six Hawks were in double figures, including all of the starters who had at least 15 points. Lou Williams was the high scorer with 21 points, Al Horford was a marksman-like 10-13 from the field and Kyle Korver and John Jenkins burnt the guys in blue for 6-7 from behind the arc combined.
Lou Williams was able to feed Horford, Zaza Pachulia and even Ivan Johnson and Johan Petro for easy layups off of the pick and roll, even if Petro tried to add style points. Williams has a career high in assists with twelve to go along with a career first double-double. Jeff Teague also continued a streak of four games of double digit field goal attempts and points. His aggressiveness was called into question by Coach Larry Drew during a recent Philadelphia 76ers game and Teague has answered the call in a big way.
The 109 was the most points given up by the Pacers this season, even though they have had an overtime and a double overtime game. As for the Hawks, it was the fourth most they have scored this season in regulation and helped to support the many claims of a potentially potent offense. We’ll see whether they can carry this offensive momentum into Monday’s game at the dangerous Houston Rockets that has cracked 100 points in 18 of 30 games.