RECAP: Hawks 103, Bucks 102

Bo Churney —  February 24, 2013

FINAL

MIL (26-28) 102 – 103 (31-23) ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 23 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
E. Ilyasova (MIL): 19 pts, 9 reb, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were down 100-93 with about three minutes remaining when Larry Drew took a timeout. After another failed possession, the Hawks were able to take advantage of an Ersan Ilyasova miss, and got a three from Devin Harris after Jeff Teague pulled off an absolutely amazing wrap-around pass. Another great defensive possession turned into a Josh Smith three (!!!), and the Hawks were only down one. Al Horford the closed the game, getting a dunk off the Josh Smith-Al Horford hi-low, and then scoring with five seconds left on a fake hand-off play.

The Hawks shot 14-28 from behind the arc, which made up for the huge disparity in FG% and rebounding that favored the Bucks. This was their eighth straight game with 25 or more assists, including three games over that span with 30 or more. The victory improves the Hawks to .500 (13-13) on the road.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Josh Smith hitting a clutch three when he was 5-18 from the field before that is the most Josh Smith thing ever. Obviously, he took some questionable shots, but he missed a lot of shots around the rim (seven shots within five feet, to be exact) that he usually converts at a higher rate. He was good defensively tonight, and probably could have had even more rebounds if he boxed out on a couple more plays. 6/10

Al Horford: He took an elbow from Monta Ellis late in the game, but that didn’t stop Al from hitting the game winning bucket. Al is averaging almost 20 points and 10 rebounds on 65% shooting over his last 10 games. This is probably the longest stretch of the year where he has looked completely comfortable with his shot, and he is even doing some good work in the post. Of course, Larry Drew is also continuing to run great plays to get Al the best looks, of which Al is capitalizing on. 9/10

Zaza Pachulia: Guess who holds the Hawks record for most offensive rebounds in a quarter? Yep, it’s Zaza now. He had seven of them in the 2nd quarter, which was instrumental in helping the Hawks erase a nine-point deficit from the first quarter. Sam Dalembert just couldn’t handle Zaza on the boards, resulting in the two getting in a couple of heated scuffles. It never amounted to much, but you can always count on Zaza to get under the other team’s skin. 7/10

Jeff Teague: This was Jeff’s ninth 20 point game in the last 16 games, a stretch where he is truly showing his improvement from last season. Not only does he appear more comfortable at finishing in traffic, but his passing game is showing that he really is one of the better point guards in the league. (he’s 10th in assists, people) And even now, I still don’t understand how he pulled off that wrap-around pass late in the game. 9/10

Devin Harris: Devin didn’t disappoint playing in his hometown. He had 21 points, and you could tell he was giving it his all when he dove into the stands to save a ball from going out of bounds. He really wanted to win this game and it showed. 8/10

Dahntay Jones: He got a five-minute run in the first half and didn’t really do much. He still has some stuff to learn before he can fully get into the rotation, though. 1/10

Anthony Tolliver: Another start for Tolliver, but he only played a total of 12 minutes. He hit a three in the first quarter and that was about it. Defensively, he was match against Mbah a Moute a lot, so there was no real need for him to do stuff. 2/10

Kyle Korver: Two straight bad shooting nights from Kyle, but the Hawks won both, so no harm, no foul. He was actually pretty solid defensively, though, as he kept Redick and Dunleavey from getting easy shots. 4/10

John Jenkins: Jenkins hit three from behind the arc, which gave me plenty of use of my new nickname for him, “THREEEROY JEENKINS!” His ball-handling skills still need improvement, though, so we’ll see how Larry Drew keeps using him from here-on-out. 5.510

Larry Drew: He didn’t play Ivan in a game where the team was killed on the boards, but that was about his only flaw. Actually, the only thing people seem to have against LD is his rotations, which is really a sign of a good coach. No one really questions his play-calling, or whether or not he has the team. In fact, everybody keeps talking about how he keeps running great plays. (which he does) So, yeah, him not playing Ivan in one game isn’t going to get on me too much. 8.5/10

The opposition: The Bucks are going to love JJ Redick. Everybody knows his three-point shooting, but he’s a good ball-handler, passer, and defender. He’s a guy that they can have take some pressure off of Ellis and Jennings. Also, can we talk about how great LARRY SANDERS! is? Great defender and a hard worker all-around. He’s going to be a really good one. 8/10

 

Next: Atlanta @ Detroit, Monday, February 25th

Bo Churney

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