Atlanta sputtered going into the All-Star break, and in their first game back it was more of the same in a bad loss to Golden State. That’s why I kind of got depressed when I saw that Milwaukee opened up an 11-point lead heading into the fourth quarter. But Atlanta dug deep, blitzed the Bucks in the final frame and won by 5, 99-94. Vladimir Radmanovic made a big three to give the Hawks the lead for good with under a minute to go. Will this get the Hawks out of their doldrums? They need Joe Johnson back. He’s practicing, and his legs are braced, but he doesn’t want to commit to a specific date to be back. Tomorrow night, Oklahoma City comes calling. I wouldn’t be shocked if Joe gets out on the court for that one. (By the way, Al Horford began rehab. He fully expects to be back for the playoffs). The other piece of news was the public complaining of Tracy McGrady. What does he want? Big surprise. More playing time. He did come off the bench and logged 26 minutes. Hope that (and the win) satisfies. Joe Smith led Atlanta in scoring with 24, while Brandon Jennings poured in 34 for Milwaukee (Drew Gooden had 24 as well). But here is the impressive stat. Atlanta won with all five starters having a – point rating. (The Bucks scored more when they were on the court). The starting guards of Jeff Teague and Kirk Hinrich combined for a -19. That means the bench won this game by playing terrific defense. Stackhouse, Radmanovic, Ivan Johnson, Jerrano Pargo (who somehow has been in the league for a decade), and McGrady each played a role. Stackhouse’s rating was a whopping +17. Also, Erick Dampier didn’t play, but his contract was extended and he doesn’t have to worry about all those ten day deals.
About the Author
Written by John Morgo
John Morgo lives in Atlanta, GA where he has done broadcast work for CNN, The Weather Channel and Encompass Digital Media. As of right now, he does Internet play-by-play for Georgia Perimeter College and Norcross High School. With GPC, he is the voice of the men's soccer, basketball, and baseball teams.