Feisty Hawks Stun Somnambulant Wizards 103-97

WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 6: DeAndre' Bembry
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 6: DeAndre' Bembry /
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WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 6: Dewayne Dedmon
WASHINGTON, DC – APRIL 6: Dewayne Dedmon /

As discussed, Taurean Prince pretty much took over this game in the 4th quarter for Atlanta – another great sign for a young player on a team that needs forceful playmakers. With Isaiah Taylor in foul trouble, Prince served as the primary ballhandler and he made good decision after good decision in the decisive final stretch of this tilt.

Though his outside shot wasn’t falling (going 1 of 7 from deep) The Prince That Was Promised affected this game in myriad other ways and finished with 23 points on 8 of 18 shooting with 5 assists, 4 rebounds and 2 steals. He led the team in minutes with 34 but also fouled out (on a ticky-tack call after the game was in hand). Prince also hit all 6 of his free throws.

This was another strong game for Prince and had shades of his game-winning performance against the Suns. However, this winning performance was even more impressive, as the Wizards are a cut above in terms of team talent level than the lowly Suns.

Rookie John Collins had his fingerprints all over this game as well. In 30 minutes, Collins had 10 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists and 1 block. He also had two supremely savage dunks, both of which were two-handed tomahawks that were feasts for the eyes:

Here’s the other one — just for good measure:


Collins was able to beat Marcin Gortat off the dribble a few times, which was nice to see, and he seemed to have learned something after playing him earlier in the year a few times.

Like most of the team, Collins seemed pretty keyed up to play this one, as almost no Wizards player could match Collins’ tenacity on the offensive glass.

Lastly, rookie Tyler Dorsey had a banner game and finished with a career-high 22 points on an efficient 7 of 14 shooting (4 of 8 from deep). Dorsey also led the team in box plus/minus with a career-high +20.


The team hummed along beautifully with Dorsey either handling the ball or serving as an off-ball option, and his defense was quite active throughout. When Dorsey’s shot is falling, he definitely has a positive impact on games, and that was definitely the case on this night – he made the most of his possessions, and that’s all you can ask of the promising rookie sharpshooter.

DeAndre’ Bembry logged his second career start and looked pretty good in limited minutes, scoring 5 points in 16 minutes. He was certainly well-rested, as his defense was probably the best of anyone on the court for the Hawks, and he even blocked a Jodie Meeks jump shot.

Damion Lee, who Bembry replaced as a starter, had a strong game off the bench and also played quite a few of his minutes as the team’s primary ballhandler. Lee was one of 6 Hawks to score in double figures, and he finished with 11 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists in 25 minutes – an effective game from the surprising rookie.

His combination of length, ballhandling and shooting make it clear that he deserves a shot in the NBA, so let’s hope it comes from Atlanta next season after a strong close to this season.

Dewayne Dedmon continues a strong run of games with his 6th double-double in the past 10 games, finishing a do-everything game with 12 points, 14 rebounds, 3 assist, 1 steal, 1 block and a +13 BPM in 31 minutes, as well as this sweet dunk in traffic:

If anything, Dedmon has made himself some money this offseason as he will almost certainly opt out of the player option of his contract in order to obtain a big paycheck from a playoff contender. Any team could employ his skill set, especially with his newfound outside shot.

Mike Muscala had a quiet night, but he was extremely effective with limited touches. Musky finished with 7 points, 9 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block and +6 BPM in 24 minutes, and he hit one of the biggest shots of the game in the 4th quarter. Musky capped an 8-0 run with a huge corner three-pointer, similar to his amazing banked-in three against the Wizards in the playoffs in 2015 – still one of the defining moments of his career.

Muscala will most likely opt out of his contract as well, though the Hawks should try to retain him, as he seems to always hit big shots in big spots.

Next: Could the Hawks Trade for Kawhi Leonard?

The Hawks only have two games remaining, and their next bout is Sunday against the Boston Celtics at 1:00 p.m. EST.