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Hawks Stay Perfect, Defeat Wizards 99-95

Wizards vs Hawks boxscore

Wizards vs Hawks recap


Before we dive too deep into the recap I want to jump ahead to the fourth quarter with the Hawks clinging to a six point lead and needing a bucket. In this situation the Hawks went with a set play that had Josh Smith throw a pin point lob pass to Al Horford for the jam. 

Our main man Sebastian Pruiti of NBA has done an excellent job of breaking down this play from start to finish so be sure and check it out.

Recap 3-0 version after the jump

One of the big challenges for this Hawks team the entire season is going to be how to deal with quick point guards. John Wall may in fact become the gold standard when it comes to quick point guards in this league. Predictably the Hawks struggled to contain the rookie point guard as Wall carved the Hawks up for 28 points and 9 assists. However, other than Al Thornton, the Hawks did a nice job of controlling the rest of the Wizards and came up with a great bench contribution before Joe Johnson sealed this win late. The Hawks couldn't match the Wizards 50% shooting from the field but got to the charity stripe nine more times than the Wizards and actually made eleven more free throws which proved to provide the winning margin. 

Box score musings:


  • The Wizards starting strong out of the gate putting the Hawks into a 27-18 hole after one period. With the Hawks coming in on the second night of a back to back the game could have been lost in the second quarter. The Hawks however responded with a big run which was led by many of the reserves. Jamal Crawford and company combined to outscore the Wizards 26-13 in the quarter which gave the Hawks a four point lead at the half. It seemed at that point that the Wizards had missed an opportunity to bury the Hawks.
  • Joe Johnson played his first 40+ minute game of the season scoring 25 points on 10-23 shooting. He dished out three assists and committed four turnovers on the night. Johnson only attempted four of the Hawks 30 free throw attempts but I am not going to nit pick give his success at getting to the line over the first three games. 
  • Al Horford came up with his second straight good game netting a double double 21 points and 10 rebounds in just 26 minutes of action due to a couple of fouls in the first quarter. Coach Drew like his predecessor chose to leave Horford on the bench in favor of Zaza Pachulia and Jason Collins. Again I am not going to nitpick because it clearly worked out with a Hawks win and Horford playing well down the stretch. 
  • Marvin Williams gets the M.I.A. award for tonights game as he was mostly missing for the night. Williams didn't score and only played 21 minutes in the game with zero of those minutes coming in the fourth quarter. Coach Drew elected to go with a lineup of Mike Bibby, Jamal Crawford, and Joe Johnson down the stretch. 
  • Mike Bibby clearly can't stay in front of John Wall (who can?) but is still essential as a decision maker to the team. Again he was a very efficient 5-9 from the floor for 12 points and more impressively had four assists with no turnovers. 
  • Josh Smith limited himself to only two long jump shots and finished with a line of 12 points, 10 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks. None of the assists was prettier that the afore mentioned lob play to Al Horford.
  • Jamal Crawford attacked virtually the entire game scoring 15 points on 5-15 shooting. He was only 1-8 from three point range. Crawford will have nights like that from time to time and usually means that an explosion will be coming soon. 
  • The three headed big man monster of Zaza Pachulia, Josh Powell, and Jason Collins combined to eight points grab eleven rebounds while turning the ball over six times.
  • Turnover scoreboard: Hawks committed 16, Wizards committed 17
Final Thoughts:

The Wizards during that 27-18 first quarter threw a lot of zone defense at the Hawks which in turn pretty much negates the motion offense. Combine that with the Wizards length inside and that leads to a lot of jump shots for the birds. In fact JaVale Mcgee had seven blocked shots by himself but compounded that with five turnovers for the night. To summarize we expected the Hawks to win because a) they were at home and b) it was the Wizards whom they have had their number over the last several years (take that Chris Sheridan). 3-0 to start the first week feels pretty good.

What say you Hawks Fans? How does 3-0 feel to you?