By Jerel Marshall
The Atlanta Hawks responded to their second longest losing streak of the season by dismantling a young Wizard’s team on Thanksgiving night. The Hawks dominated the entire game on their way to a 116-96 victory.
It was easily their best showing of the year and they seem to answer a lot questions that have been raised about their play recently.
“We talked about it before the game, before they even hit the floor,” Coach Larry Drew said. “They had to bring energy. That was the most important thing.”
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Drew said he had not seen that type of energy sustained throughout a whole game all season.
Another good sign was on the boards as the Hawks managed to out rebound the bigger longer Wizards. Over the last couple of game the Hawks have been getting knocked around on the boards. As a result Drew said he put an emphasis on boxing out and limiting Washington to one shot.
“(Javale) McGee has been playing so well coming up to this game,” Al Horford said. “We held him off as best we could and I think our guards played a huge role of coming and making sure they helped out with the long rebounds.”
Perhaps the most promising sign from the Hawks is the amount of chemistry they showed as they played together the entire game and seemed to have fun doing it. This was evidenced by the amount of celebration from the bench as Jason Collins drilled in an unlikely three late in the fourth quarter and then pointed over to his teammates on the pine.
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“We are just trying to get wins and have fun,” Josh Smith said. “We are trying to figure out how we got wins when we were 6-0.”
Part of the reason they were able to string together wins early in the season is because of a number of weak competitors. Its been a season of streaks as the Hawks ran off six games straight, dropped four in a row, won back-to-back games and then dropped three.
With a number of weak opponents on the horizon the Hawks may look to put together another long win streak.