Ken Sugiura sitting in for MC. Mike will be back at you Saturday from Washington.
Hawks are at home, hence, they win. Punch in, punch out. Given the way they floundered in Detroit, I wasn’t so sure of their chances tonight against Toronto.
But they took it, thanks in no small part to a huge second quarter. Jamal was his electric self, nailing 4 of 5 3-pointers and scoring 15 points. Said Al Horford, “I would say Jamal Crawford happened.”
- Credit also Zaza Pachulia, exceptional ball movement and good work on the glass. Of the Hawks’ 15 baskets in the quarter, 10 were off assists, and they had 13 second-chance points. The Hawks missed 11 shots in the quarter and had seven offensive rebounds.
Raps coach Jay Triano: “We just didn’t box out, and that was really our downfall.”
- Much of the rest of the game wasn’t much to look at. In the other three quarters, the Hawks shot 21 for 62 (33.9 percent), including 2 for 16 from 3-point range. I’m not quite sure what to make of it. I guess it depends on where you lie on the Woody COY/Fire Woody spectrum, I suppose.
“The positive is we beat them in three other quarters. We just became too relaxed in the second quarter. Other than that, I think we played pretty hard and fairly well.”
“We were somewhat flat (in the first quarter), but we’ve had games like that. Guys came in off the bench and picked us up and got us back in the game, and we were able to play Hawk basketball. I thought that second quarter was as good a second quarter as we’ve played all season.”
- Perhaps worth considering. It is certainly worth asking, “How can a team trying to gear up for the playoffs come out and play like that in the first quarter?” But I imagine fans of the Celtics, who lost at home to Washington Friday night, are saying something quite similar, only in a funny accent. It doesn’t justify it, but just know you’re hardly alone. I imagine you can find a band of “Doc Rivers must go!” bloggers up in Boston, as well.
- Strong game for Mo Evans, I thought, though he missed some shots he ought to make.
- Joe Johnson looked O.K. to me with the sprained thumb. I saw him grimacing early in the game when he took a foul, but he seemed to find his flow. For what it’s worth, Woody said he limited his minutes because he was getting back after three games out.
- Raptors, 54 points in the paint. Yikes.
- One prediction – Elias Sports Bureau, source of those random stats you hear on ESPN that I confess I love (Al Horford has 10 double-doubles this season in Wednesday road games…) will offer some sort of statistic on the Hawks’ concurrent 11-game home winning streak and six-game road losing streak. It’s a puzzler. We’ll let MC deal with that one tomorrow.
- And let’s not forget – 50 wins. I hope you’re enjoying it, Hawks fans, because it’s no small achievement.