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Atlanta Hawks 94, Indiana Pacers 84 or mailing in ten point victories



Josh Smith finished with 21 points and 13 rebounds. He was the stat star of the game, but the quintessential play may have been his lazy self-led fast break in the third quarter where he dribbled half speed down the court, demanding you see how little he cared, then picked up his dribble around the free throw line and seemed to say, "I can think even less if I just run with it." Josh picked up an offensive foul and then a technical. There are better examples of going through the motions, like if someone is in a charades game and is trying to act out "going through the motions" but other than that Josh pretty much has it nailed. If you are looking for a positive, Josh Smith tried for around five minutes of this game and still dominated. Which is a pretty big positive, especially if the Hawks can find a way to play the Pacers in the playoffs.

In the end, the Atlanta Hawks were just better. Jamal Crawford drained threes, Al Horford could not be guarded, and Josh Smith's best impersonation of a ridiculously athletic version of Zach Randolph was just too much. Horrible rotation defense and close outs not with standing, I am fine with a ten point victory where the longest stint by a starter was 34 minutes. I really am. Without the Philly lose, I might not have even picked up on lack of effort.

Would this be a great time to test different 5 man rotations, hammer home discipline to run the offense, develop a killer instinct to put teams away early, and actually make a run at being the best team this group of players can be? Yes, yes it would, but clearly, that is not what the Hawks are interested in doing. They will take their random 76ers loss alongside their easy win against Indy because when the rubber meats the road against the Orlando's of the world, they think they can win those too.

Good basketball is always better than bad basketball. 3-0 always better than 2-1. Destroying teams always more appealing than the possibility of developing bad habits, but right now, the Hawks are going for the common denominator. And that is they know they can beat any team in the standing below them and believe they can compete with any one above them. In their mind, a win or loss down the stretch is not going to change that. And if you want to change that, you might need to tune out for the next nine or so games.

Until then, enjoy the crap out of Jeff Teague's transition defense.

Go Hawks!