RECAP: Hawks 109, Pacers 100

Bo Churney —  December 30, 2012


IND(17-13) 100 – 109 (19-9) ATL

Key Performers:

L. Williams (ATL): 21 pts, 3 reb, 12 asts
D. West (IND): 29 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast

With Josh Smith, Devin Harris, and Anthony Morrow all out nursing injuries, the Hawks used a great team effort to take down the Pacers, who were right behind them in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite 16 turnovers, Atlanta was able to control the pace of the game, and took Roy Hibbert completely out of everything. The Hawks are now one game out of first place in the East, and are on a four game winning streak.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Al’s shooting form looked much improved tonight (he said so himself in postgame), which allowed him to score 20 points on just 13 shots. He also had some great passes to Zaza, and did not turn the ball over once. He really didn’t allow David West to get much room when he was shooting, but it’s hard to stop a guy when he’s hitting step-back three pointers. 8/10

Lou Williams: Lou had eight assists in just the 1st quarter, which was already one off of his career high. He wasn’t doing anything flashy, but guys were just making shots after he created some small holes in the defense. He hit some timely threes (which prompted some “YOLO!” shots, of course), and for the most part, his perimeter shots were falling at a good rate. He couldn’t really finish around the rim in this one, but 21 and 12 on 17 shots is still a strong game. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Indy tried attacking Korver in the post early, and it was working, but Korver did start to step it up a bit later in the game. Along with his usual great help defense, he actually started to show so good one-on-one work, as he was able to keep guys out of the paint. Like Lou, he also hit some timely threes, which is extremely pivotal for a game that was a single-digit margin for the majority of the time. 7/10

Jeff Teague: The box score says he played for the first three quarters, but he really didn’t do much in those. He did have some problems when the Pacers hedged and doubled hard off of PnRs, resulting in some ATL turnovers, but he was able to shake it off and truly deliver down the stretch of the game to keep the lead out of Indy’s reach 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: The only way Zaza could have played better was if he had found a way to plant Hansbrough at some point. Zaza completely eliminated Hibbert from this game, limiting the Pacers’ center to zero points and only one rebound. Of course, Zaza played strong on offense against Hibbert, Mahinmi, and Hansbrough, scoring 17 points and grabbing five offensive boards. To quote Zaza: “DeShawn say that whenever I’m bleeding, I’m playing good.” Yes, yes you do Zaza. 9/10

Ivan Johnson If you want to know how Ivan played, consider this: when he fouled out, he received a substantial standing ovation from the crowd. His box score looks light, but he played ball and stayed calm when Lance Stevenson tried to act tough for a minute against him. (for the record, Stephenson took three steps back from Ivan, and then told his teammates to hold him back. Good job, good effort, Lance) 6/10

John Jenkins: I can’t stress how big these minutes are going to be for Johnny J. He did appear a little timid at times (and he did throw a great over-the-head pass to a fan in the first row), but he did capture a career-high 10 points on only six shots. He didn’t appear to be much of a liability on defense, and it’s interesting to wonder if he is able to play like this if he is given consistent minutes. 6/10

Johan Petro: With the Hawks limited on healthy bodies, Petro came in and played… not terrible? He did have two buckets and a block, but he also fouled three times in four minutes. I guess I’ll take it. 3/10

DeShawn Stevenson: He did play some decent D against Paul George for some stretches, but he really didn’t do much else. His only visible “highlight” was that he airballed a corner-three at the end of the third. 2/10

Larry Drew: LD has to get a lot of credit for the way the Hawks continue to play well on the 2nd of back-to-backs. It was an even more impressive job in this one with the team down three key rotation players. The Hawks are now 19-9, only one game behind the Heat and the Knicks for 1st place in the East; Larry should be getting some Coach of the Year talk for now. 8/10

The opposition: David West played out of his mind, but what the heck is wrong with Roy Hibbert? No 7’2″ guy should go 20 minutes without scoring and only grabbing one rebound. Paul George almost had a triple-double, and I can’t help but have the feeling that Indy is kicking themselves for losing a winnable game like this. 6/10


Next: Atlanta Houston, Monday, December 31st

Bo Churney

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