The Atlanta Hawks just keep on winning. Tuesday's 107-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers gave the Hawks a five-game wining streak and put a stamp on a stretch of impressive wins for the club. Atlanta has defeated five-straight playoff teams and if the rest of the league wasn't paying attention, they likely are now.
Atlanta had to dig deep on Tuesday and overcome a 17-0 run by the Clippers in the second quarter. Los Angeles led by as many as 13 points in third but the Hawks closed the quarter strong and was able to carry that run into the fourth.
"Just the poise of our group.....we went through a rough stretch there about halfway through the second quarter to halfway through the third quarter," Mike Budenholzer said while discussing his team's performance. "We were able to right ourselves and find a way to win a tough game against a really good ball club."
The Clippers shot 44.8 percent through the first three quarters but the Hawks clamped down in the fourth holding them to just 28 percent shooting and 7-25 from the field.
"We need to get a lot better defensively, but in these last couple of weeks we've shown improvement on the defensive end of the floor," said Budenholzer. "As far as the thing we point to the most, the fact that we have different guys who step up every night and make big players throughout the game...we've got a good team. I think our bench has been good the last couple of weeks. We have much work that needs to be done. We have a long way to go."
As Budenholzer says, it is a different hero every night for the Hawks it seems and on Tuesday it was DeMarre Carroll's turn to step to the forefront. Carroll knocked down five three pointers on his way to 25 points and also grabbed 10 rebounds.
"Everybody in this room knows we work hard and knows what type of team we are," said Carroll in the post game. "This is our second year in the system. Last year, we were losing a lot of games by one or two points. We just have to keep playing Hawks basketball and let the rest take care of itself."
The Hawks go to great lengths to fashion themselves as a selfless group and that speaks volumes about the type of player they pursue, or don't pursue, during the offseason.
"We don't win this game back then," said Carroll. "We had a new system...we were still understanding our roles and trusting each other. This year, everybody trusts each other. You see a guy like Jeff Teague. He comes off the bench because Dennis was playing well. It just shows we don't have any egos in this locker room. Everybody wants to win. Everybody trusts each other."