After getting their Wednesday matchup with the Detroit Pistons cancelled due to a snow storm in the Atlanta area, the Hawks looked to get back into a groove Friday night in Philadelphia against the 76ers.
After beginning the season 5-4, the 76ers have only won 10 of their last 37 games. Despite their focus on the 2014 NBA Draft, they remain a tough team that plays at an extremely fast rate, and it showed.
Despite hanging in there for 2 1/2 quarters, the 76ers succumbed to the Atlanta Hawks 125-99.
The Hawks had Jeff Teague back from an injury related absence. Though he shot poorly, he was able to get to the free throw line and knock down all six of his attempts. It comes as now worry, as the Hawks have two very capable point guards behind him in Sgelvin Mack and rookie Dennis Schroder, so Teague can get his legs back under him slowly.
Millsap continued his streak of sticky-handedness with a season-high five first half steals. The recently named All-Star filled up the box score with 12 points, six steals, four rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
Kyle Korver also extended his streak of games with a made three-pointer to 114 games as part of his 11-point effort against Philadelphia.
Mike Scott continued his shooting ways. He had 16 points in the second quarter alone. He finished with a near double-double and proved he can be a reliable and sometimes potent offensive option off the bench for the Atlanta Hawks.
Gustavo Ayon has worked his way back from back related injuries to log his fourth consecutive 20+ minute game. His defense seems to be improving back to his high career level.
The Hawks forced a lot of turnovers, something that you should be able to do with such a young and recently built squad. They bottled up leading Rookie of the Year candidate Michael Carter-Williams until the game was already decided and made sure the 76ers offense could never get into a rhythm.
The Hawks piled up 99 points…in just three quarters of action.
Philly offered no real resistance in the second half. The fourth quarter was a glorified scrimmage with lots of action for German phenom Dennis Schröder and D-League call up James Nunnally, who is in the last day of his second 10-day contract.
The Hawks will now make a decision on his future by either signing him for the remainder of the season or looking elsewhere for wing help. I suspect Atlanta picks the latter option.
Atlanta starters got an early breather due to the margin of victory, and the team cruised to an easy win. Good teams should put away bad teams and Mike Budenholzer’s crew did just that without a bead of sweat.