RECAP: Hawks 94 , Bobcats 91

Daniel Christian —  November 28, 2012


CHA(7-7) 91 – 94 (9-4) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 17 pts, 13 rebs, 6 asts, 5 blks, 3 stls
B. Gordon (CHA): 26 pts, 4 rebs, 3 asts

The Hawks led almost the entire second half, but a late Charlotte run fueled by Ben Gordon made it a game down the stretch. Thanks to some nifty passing and an all around great game from Josh Smith and Al Horford, Atlanta was able to pull through and win their 6th consecutive game.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smith struggled shooting the ball for most of the night and scored only 4 first half points, but he caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 13 points along with a classic airballed jumper. Shooting percentages aside, though, Smoove was everywhere. He had 5 blocks, 3 steals, 6 assists, and 13 rebounds as he absolutely abused the Bobcats every chance he got on the defensive end of the floor. His passing down the stretch was also a key to the Hawks weathering the Ben Gordon storm.  9/10

Al Horford: Much like Smith, Al was incredibly active on defense, but the most important thing was that he finally made a few shots outside the paint. He seems to be bouncing back from a perimeter and free throw shooting slump, which is only good news for the Hawks. His 3 blocks and 11 boards were huge, and he was Atlanta’s offensive cog throughout the first half when Smith was struggling with the ball in his hands.  8/10

Zaza Pachulia: When he was in the game, it felt like he got a hand on every rebound or was fouled doing so. He pulled down 6 boards of his own, but you can bet that through drawing fouls and pestering his man he gave Atlanta a bunch more possessions than they would have had otherwise.  6/10

DeShawn Stevenson: He was, for the most part, completely ineffective offensively (as to be expected). And defensively, he wasn’t exactly a world-beater either. 3/10

Jeff Teague: Aside from finding Smith for two awesome alley-oops, Teague wasn’t even close to as good as he had been in the past two games. He had a nice night from beyond the arc (3-5), but went 4-10 total and allowed Charlotte back in the game with a few silly plays late in the 4th. 5/10

Lou Williams: He scored 17 points on 16 shots, so not exactly the most efficient outing in terms of shooting, but he had 5 assists and the shots he made were important.  7/10

Devin Harris: Harris is slowly coming on after a rough start to the season. He scored 7 points, had 4 assists and 2 steals, and was moving the ball very well in general. I’m starting to get out of the habit of giving him a 1/10. This is a good thing. 5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver struggled to find his shot for most of the game, but seriously, every time he shoots I think it’s going in. Every time. He went 2-7, but still. Every. Time. 3/10

Anthony Morrow: Morrow was a nice boost off the bench, scoring 8 points on 3-5 shooting. We’ve seen him pass up a bunch of open threes so he could step in a foot closer, which isn’t a good thing to make a habit of. It’s a less efficient shot, and although Morrow was helpful tonight, just shooting the three is the safer and better call. 5/10

Larry Drew: I’m usually pretty critical of Drew’s rotations, but for the first time in what feels like forever, I agreed with most every move he made in that regard. I’ll need to go back and take another look as to how exactly Ben Gordon freed himself up for a 20-point 4th quarter, but to tell you the truth I’m not terribly surprised that a guard had an offensive explosion on this defense. While the offense seemed to hum at certain points, a Teague-Williams or a Teague-Harris backcourt can feature some defensive problems. The question is whether or not the offensive production outweighs the occasional defensive shortcomings. It seemed to balance out tonight, and Atlanta’s front court is what ultimately made the difference. 7/10

The opposition: The game wasn’t pretty. Charlotte’s 16 turnovers and 39% shooting from the field was almost enough to win. The Hawks weren’t exactly an offensive buzzsaw, but Charlotte’s early zone was picked apart by 3-point shooting and eventually, Atlanta just got whatever they wanted offensively in the paint.  4/10


Next: Atlanta vs Cleveland, Friday, November 30th

Daniel Christian