RECAP: Hawks 93, Grizzlies 83

Bo Churney —  December 8, 2012


MEM(14-4) 83 – 93 (12-5) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 24 pts, 8 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
M. Gasol (MEM): 18 pts, 8 rebs, 5 asts

Taking the Hawks seriously yet? Atlanta improved to 12-5 with the win over the Grizzlies, and now have wins over three of the top four teams in the West. (Clippers & Thunder are the other two) This particular game was won in the third quarter, which was a 32-13 advantage for Atlanta. The Hawks outrebounded the Grizzlies on both the offensive and defensive glass, which is a clear improvement over the start of the season when the team couldn’t rebound to save their lives. Hawks have won nine out of the last ten, and could potentially take first place in the East against the Heat, pending that the Knicks lose to the Nuggets tomorrow.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: He dominated Rudy Gay on both offense and defense, and is really starting to come out of his slump. Over his last five games, he’s averaging 22-11-4-2-2 on 48% shooting, and 50% (!!!) three-point shooting. His four turnovers aren’t enough to deduct a point from this one, in my opinion. 10/10

Al Horford: Al had his motor going in this one, pulling in six offensive rebounds and ending with 19 points and 14 total boards. His hustle was extremely evident tonight, and was one of the best things to watch in this game. (even though it led to him getting poked in the eye once. =/ ) 9/10

Zaza Pachulia: I know LD likes to set up the starting lineup based on team-to-team matchups, but Zaza has earned serious consideration as a full-time starter. The team plays better when he’s on the court, and both and Basketball-Reference rate lineups that have a Smoove/Horford/Zaza frontcourt among the Hawks’ best. 7/10

Jeff Teague: He rebounded nicely from that horrific shooting game he had against the Wizards, but his work around the rim still needs work. He helped keep Conley under control for the most part, and had no turnovers for only the second time this season. 7/10

Lou Williams: Lou had a pretty poor start to the game (1-6 in the first half), but then went supernova in the third quarter, hitting back-to-back-to-back threes in the middle of an 18-0 Atlanta run. Admittedly, that stretch made him a little jumper happy, but that stretch was a huge reason why the Hawks won this game. 7/10

Devin Harris: He played some good defense, but this game was really the end of the hot streak he had going. The big point is that he wasn’t trying to force anything once he figured out that he wasn’t playing his best. 5/10

Ivan Johnson: Ivan had some good ball in the first quarter, but really fizzled out in the 2nd. He didn’t see the floor in the 2nd half, which was the right decision with how well Smith, Horford, and Pachulia were playing. 5/10

Anthony Morrow: It seems that the more he plays, the worse he shoots. He was 1-5 in this one, and wasn’t particularly strong defensively, but he did do other things, like pass and rebound. 4/10

Anthony Tolliver: He got his first burn in a while, in which he didn’t do anything. (only had three minutes, though) The team was plus-1 in his time on the court, so I’ll give him that. 2/10

Larry Drew: LD is quietly becoming one of the best coaches out of timeouts. A play out of a timeout that led to an Al Horford dunk was the play that sparked the 18-0 run in the third. After getting a feel for the team in the first few games, the rotations have become really strong, which is something that I had always criticized him on before. 8/10

The opposition: Gasol and Randolph were good, but their perimeter game couldn’t get going at all. (which was largely a function of Josh Smith on Rudy Gay) Coach Lionel Hollins also made the mistake of leaving the bench in too long in the third and fourth quarters, which is where this game was decided. 3/10


Next: Atlanta at Miami, Monday, December 10th

Bo Churney

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