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Atlanta Hawks News and Notes From the Big Easy

Is anyone in the paint?  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
Is anyone in the paint? (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)
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Jamal Crawford on his return to the lineup:

"Now it’s just going to be about getting my timing and getting my game shape back," he said. "I am just happy to get back out there."

If Sunday is any indication there won't be any shortage of minutes for Crawford to get back in the groove. 

MC updates Al Horford's injured shooting hand:

Al said the swelling has gone down in his shooting hand. It’s "better" but not quite back to feeling normal.

SB Nation's Tom Ziller on Chris Paul's involvement in the Hornets comeback:

The Hornets trailed by nine at halftime in Atlanta. With the margin the same two minutes into the second half, New Orleans went on a four-minute, 16-3 run to grab a lead. The offensive outburst included seven made baskets. CP3 was involved on six of them, hitting four baskets and assisting on two more. (He also had a free throw in there.) The only bucket not involving CP3 during the stretch was a West assist to Okafor in the lane. 

Bret LaGree of Hoopinion recaps the evening as far as the Hawks went:

The Christmas break killed Larry Drew's tactical momentum. The Horford Treatment reappeared. As did Josh Powell as part of an expanded, incoherent rotation. Jeff Teague disappeared. And, in his absence, there was no rational approach to guarding Chris Paul.

The real MC on Josh Smith's game when both on and off the floor:

Smoove was the guiltiest party on the latter. He’s getting jump shot happy again and now they aren’t falling. He did have 12 rebounds but foul trouble limited him to 28 minutes and, in another unsurprising development, the Hornets got free run at the rim when he was out of the game.

Bret LaGree again on the disappearance of Al Horford down the stretch:

It was another Hawks loss, it was another one-shot fourth quarter from Al Horford. That makes it four of the last seven games and three of Atlanta's last four losses wherein Horford has gotten a single field goal attempt in the fourth quarter. 

That is completely unacceptable for a player that largely could be considered as the Hawks goto player to get so few touches down the stretch. 

MC in his post game AJC article discusses the similarities to this loss and the others that comprise Atlanta's five game road losing streak:

Atlanta suffered its fifth straight road loss, and this one was similar to the other defeats. The Hawks were within striking distance in the final period but the Hornets were better on a handful of key possessions.

Micheal McNamara of talks numbers and Chris Paul:

2 for 17 from deep. 9 for 15 from the free throw line. And despite those cringe worthy numbers, the Hornets still managed to hold off the Atlanta Hawks 93-86 to extend their home winning streak to four games. The 3rd and 4th quarters were vintage Chris Paul as he took over in the second half, scoring 18 of his 22 points to lead the Hornets to a comeback victory

Rohan of At the Hive discusses the zone defense that the Hornets employed during the second half:

New Orleans ran the zone a number of times in the first half; in the second, they went to it on virtually every defensive possession. The Hornets have been remarkably successful employing the zone in limited doses this year; seeing it work over a 20+ minute stretch against a plus shooting offensive team was heartening.