While I’ve been preparing to watch the NCAA tourney, the Hawks came back home from their last major road trip. It started out well enough, with a win over Indiana, but it quickly derailed into a 2-4 excursion. (On the West Coast part, Atlanta beat Sacramento, but dropped games to the Clips and Nuggets). I spent the day celebrating Vandy’s win over Harvard (had to get that in), I also got ready for that the Hawks and Wizards at Phillips Arena. The Wiz were in the bottom of the standings, but they did beat New Orleans last night (Not a big accomplishment, but still). Washington was on a roll, Atlanta might still be slumbering from the road. It was like this for a few quarters, but Atlanta used a 18-6 run to close out the third, and used the momentum to catapult to a 102-88 victory. Joe Johnson returned from injury and scored 34 points, tying a season high. Josh Smith, who, yes, is still with the team, poured in 23 points and seven rebounds. Atlanta ups their record to 25-19, good for sixth in the East. They’re just ahead of Boston.
As stated earlier, Josh Smith is still a Hawk. The trade deadline passed, and GM Rick Sund didn’t make any moves. He got Joe back, which must feel like an addition without having to make a subtraction. Josh’s displeasure is well-known, and nobody want to any lengths to deny the reports he wants out. Like I said earlier, I don’t think he’ll be a distraction, but I’m concerned over the lack of depth. I think Atlanta is gambling on Al Horford returning in time for the playoffs. This will be another addition without subtraction. It looks to me like Atlanta is counting on nothing bad happening (another injury) in the interim. In this compacted season, where conditioning is at such a premium, that might be the worst bet of all.
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.