Atlanta Scouting Report

It’s been less than 2 weeks since we last played the Hawks, so this won’t be a full report. To read my original Report use this link.

Since defeating the Kings on January 4th, the Hawks have gone 3-1. They are currently in 5th place in the East with a record of 26-15 and a Home record of 13-6. While the Hawks have had an unusually light schedule over the last 13 days, the Kings have had 6 games in the same timeframe. They beat Denver at home and lost the first 3 games of this road trip before winning in New York and then losing again in Detroit.

Coach Westphal went to a new starting lineup of Cousins, JT, Garcia, Beno & Tyreke, on January 1st in Denver. Tyreke was out with an ankle injury for the first 3 games of this 6 game road trip, so if no changes are made this will be the 7th game with that starting 5. Currently, they have a record of 3-3, and a record of 0-3 without Tyreke.

Atlanta won the last game 108-102, but the game was never that close until the last few minutes of the 4th quarter. The Hawks had a 14 pt lead at the end of the half and the end of the 3rd quarter. They extended the lead to 22 with 7:45 left in the 4th quarter, even with Joe Johnson, Al Horford and Mike Bibby watching from the bench from the start of the 4th quarter. With 5:12 left in the game the score was Hawks 92 Kings 72, and then Tyreke and DeMarcus went wild. Each had 2 layups and a ‘and 1’ in a minute and a half, and with 3:33 left and the lead cut to 12, Atlanta brought all their starters off the bench.

Cousins and Tyreke didn’t care that Atlanta’s starters were on the floor, they each had 2 more layups and another ‘and 1’ from Tyreke, while Carl added two FT’s. If it wasn’t for Joe Johnson hitting 2 jumpers, the Kings 2 young stars could have cut the lead to 1. But, with 44 seconds left and the score 98-93 Hawks, the Kings were forced to foul. So, even though Garcia, Tyreke and even DeMarcus each hit a 3pt shoot in the last 26 seconds, Jamal Crawford, Johnson, and Horford hit all 8 of their FT’s, and were able to hold off the Kings last second heroics for the 6 pt victory.

Marvin Williams had been the starting SF, until he hurt his back in the GSW game just before New Years. So for the last Kings game, Atlanta moved Al Horford to PF and started Jason Collins at Center. They moved Josh Smith to SF and started Bibby and Johnson in the backcourt. That lineup only lasted one more game, and then they moved Horford back to Center and Smith back to PF. They moved Johnson to SF and inserted Maurice Evans to SG with Bibby at PG. Evans has only averaged 5 pts/ 3 rebs in the 3 games, so it’s hard to say how long the Hawks will stick with that lineup.

But, it was Jamal Crawford off the bench with 31 pts/ 7 asts and Joe Johnson with 29 pts / 5 rebs that did the Kings in during our last meeting. There is no doubt that Atlanta has a wealth of talent and experience, but the Kings have the size to control the boards and block shots. If the Kings can continue to score like they have on this road trip, and can keep Atlanta out of the paint, this game is winnable. The odds aren’t great but they’re within reason. Let’s hope DeMarcus comes out of the semi slump that he’s been in for the entire road trip. And, Tyreke finds his inner PG, like he did in the 1st half of the Detroit game. It would also be a nice time for Garcia to come out of his shooting slump. Cisco’s only shooting 39% from the field and 23% from three on this road trip. Go Sacramento!

(This is a FanPost from a member of the Sactown Royalty community. The views expressed come from the member, and not Sactown Royalty staff.)