RECAP: Hawks 92, Heat 101

Daniel Christian —  December 11, 2012


MIA(14-5) 101 – 92 (12-6) ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 20 pts, 11 rebs, 1 ast, 2 stls
L. James (MIA): 27 pts, 7 rebs, 6 asts, 2 stls

In a battle for the early season lead of the Southeast division, LeBron James and Dwyane Wade made sure that everyone remembers just how good they really are. The Heat tormented the Hawks defensively and were their usual flying death machine of an offense, creating said offense through that aforementioned defensive prowess.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: It was another solid night for Horford, who scored 20 points on 8-14 shooting and pulled down 11 rebounds en route to his sixth consecutive double-double. He abused Bosh early in the third quarter and set the stage for what looked to be an intriguing finish. However, eventually, Miami put the clamps on him, as well as the rest of the team, and they proceeded to put the game out of reach. Horford, though, was far and away Atlanta’s best player on the night. 8/10

Josh Smith: Smoove tied his career high of 4 3-pointers made in a single game, but don’t let that fool you. It wasn’t a great night for Smith, and you should know that because of the fact that he took 5 3-pointers, regardless of how many actually went in. It sends the message that he’s settling. And he was settling. After connecting on those threes (some of which he was just completely wide open for), he forced more and more jumpers, and obviously, his 7-18 performance doesn’t warrant too much enthusiasm. However, he did play a solid overall game. He worked his way inside the paint more than a few times and showed us why he just won player of the week, and he also rejected the life out of an attempted Chris Bosh dunk, only moments after Smoove himself missed what would have been one of the greatest dunks of his career. And despite the fact that LeBron scored on anyone and everyone tonight, Smith probably saw the most success while checking James.  7/10

Zaza Pachulia: Am I the only one who forgot that he was even on the court? 19 minutes and nothing to show for it but 3 rebounds? After the way he’s played so far this season, he’s earned himself a mulligan, but this is the second straight time he’s been a no-show against the Heat. 2/10

DeShawn Stevenson: DeShawn, again, did not play his greatest defense, but he did connect on 4 3-pointers. He took 11 of them, but if it’s any consolation, he was wide open for all of them. I know that no one wants Stevenson shooting 11 threes, but he started off hot and to be honest, I didn’t really mind it. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Even from the biggest Jeff Teague fan there is (which I like to believe is myself), there is no denying that he’s struggled of late. Teague scored 11 points, but again did not finish around the rim on several occasions and shot just 3-10 from the field. This was a guy who started the first 8 or so games of the season in the 50-40-90 club. He’s going to go through stretches with varying degrees of success, apparently, but on an overall basis, just more efficiency in regards to turnovers and, not so much shot selection, but instead just finding the right touch on those 8-foot runners would be a nice boost to his somewhat slumping game right now.  5/10

Lou Williams: Lou struggled finding ways to score in this one, but he still conjured up 11 points and made all 5 of his free throws. He held onto the ball, which in a game like this was a major plus, and he had 4 assists to only one turnover.   6/10

Anthony Morrow: Morrow played one of his better games of late, scoring 6 points on 3-6 shooting, but also showed some activity on the boards. Last time he played Miami he was lights out and scored 17 points. We haven’t seen anything like that from him since, but after a few games of Morrow struggling to contribute, he seems to be moving in the right direction. 4/10

Anthony Tolliver: Um. 3 minutes and 2 points! If he played like that all the time, just imagine his per 36 stats! No, but really, he’s terrible.  2/10

Devin Harris: Harris has definitely improved his play as of late, but he struggled in this one. He connected on a jumper early in the game, but never again found his rhythm, finishing 2-7 from the field. He also had 5 personal fouls and wasn’t particularly up for the task of guarding Dwyane Wade, but then again, when Wade is making jump shots like he was tonight, who is? 3/10

Johan Petro: He scored! I saw it happen with my own eyes! 2/10

John Jenkins: I love John Jenkins and can’t wait until he finds a niche in this league, whenever that may be. Because of that, I’m going to treat his turnaround jumper over LeBron in garbage time like it was some sort of sign or signal to Larry Drew that he will be super serviceable in like a year from now. I can do that, right? 4/10

Larry Drew: Drew has slowly but surely been winning over the respect of Hawks fans, and as Bo mentioned after the Grizzlies win, he’s becoming a master out of timeouts. He re-ran that same awesome alley-oop from the Memphis game, only this time Devin Harris was the passer. It almost worked, and if I recall correctly Atlanta still scored on that possession. I’m beginning to agree more and more with his rotational decisions, and it’s tough to blame him for everything that goes wrong when Kyle Korver is still out. If the Hawks had him, maybe Korver gets all those threes Stevenson took, and there is no way that Kyle only makes 4 of them. Drew is gaining more and more respect around the media, the blogosphere, and the league, and while tonight was a particularly tough draw with Miami, I thought he coached well. 7/10

The opposition: What can you say other than that the Heat are just that good? They shot almost 60% from the field and seemed to frustrate our offense to no end from midway through the third quarter until the end of the game. Dwyane Wade shot 10-12 from the field, LeBron was a monster as always, and Norris Cole provided a necessary spark. The Heat are still good, people. Don’t let those losses to Washington and New York fool you. 8/10


Next: Atlanta vs Orlando, Wednesday, December 12

Daniel Christian


One response to RECAP: Hawks 92, Heat 101

  1. It seems Teague has really fallen in love with the floater, regardless of the situation. It seems he heads down the lane without much control, and when the rolling forward is guarded he just tosses up a floater. I don’t know the exact numbers, but he has to be shooting a terrible percentage on those shots.

    Just a game where both teams couldn’t miss to open the game, and one team came back down to Earth. Not a bad effort but that’s the difference between having James/Wade/Bosh and Teague/Smith/Horford.