Inside the Scope: Golden State Warriors (15-8) x Atlanta Hawks (14-6)
- Tip Off: 4:00 p.m. (PT)
- Television: CSN-BA
Atlanta Hawks Team Profile
- Offensive Efficiency: 102.6 (11th in NBA)
- Defensive Efficiency: 97.8 (4th in NBA)
- Points: Josh Smith, 17.3 PPG
- Rebounds: Al Horford, 10.0 RPG
- Assists: Jeff Teague, 6.3 APG
- Steals: Jeff Teague, 1.8 SPG
- Blocks: Josh Smith, 2.1 BPG
- Field Goal Percentage: Ivan Johnson, 62.9% FG
- 3-Point Field Goal Percentage: Kyle Korver, 43.8% 3PT FG
Preview: The Atlanta Hawks are currently the third overall seed in the Eastern Conference standings. Read that last line again.
There are obviously a couple of things at play that have allowed the Hawks to get into this position, such as the Derrick Rose injury, Danny Granger’s knee surgery, the Boston Celtics’ struggle to incorporate new players into the fold, as well as Brook Lopez’s seemingly inevitable injury that sidelined him for a while.
All of those factors played a part in the Atlanta Hawks being where they are at the moment in the standings, but the biggest and most obvious reason for it is simple: they’ve won games.
Atlanta has won four out of their last five games, with their lone loss coming at the hands of the defending champs on the road.
So far this season, they have defeated the Oklahoma City Thunder, Los Angeles Clippers and Memphis Grizzlies (on the road).
Larry Drew’s group has played good solid basketball this season, especially at home where they’ve only dropped three of their 11 contests in this campaign.
Any discussion centering on the Hawks has to start with the tandem of Al Horford and Josh Smith. Both players are skilled frontline players that handle the interior work for their team but that also complement each other quite nicely because they both have a unique skill set that allows them to play on both the perimeter and the interior.
Smith and Horford are surrounded by a host of ball handlers in Devin Harris, Jeff Teague and Louis Williams that can create shots off the bounce but also create plays for others. Given that each has his set of challenges, having all three on the roster allows coach Drew to mix and match against opponents depending on whatever matchup he feels benefits his team the most.
And then DeShawn Stevenson, Kyle Korver and Anthony Morrow complete the puzzle as shooters that make defenses pay for rotating off of them.
This is what the Golden State Warriors will be dealing with tonight on the second leg of a back-to-back after losing last night in Orlando. It’s worth noting that the Dubs defeated the Hawks at home last month despite coughing up the ball 23 times because their defense did a masterful job of holding Atlanta to 88 points on 43.6 percent shooting.
That being said, don’t be surprised if Mark Jackson leans heavily on his bench tonight considering that Golden State is playing it’s third game in four nights on the road. At some point, the starters’ energy level is bound to suffer some type of drop off.
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