I don't how much credit to give the schedule (both that this was not the second of back-to-back games and that the opponent was Indiana rather than Denver) and how much to Mike Woodson's decision to give the team a couple days off while on the road over the Christmas holiday but the Hawks showed none of the signs of fatigue they demonstrated in Denver on Wednesday night.
|Team||Poss||Off Eff||eFG%||FT Rate||OR%||TO%|
|ATL ||95.8 ||1.148 ||54.4||30.4 ||8.3||11.5 |
|IND ||95.8||1.022||47.8||13.3 ||29.2 ||16.7|
The Hawks used their superior size, speed, and skill to overwhelm the Pacers on both ends of the court in the first quarter and never let up (at least when the starters were on the floor). Indiana's going to struggle to create offense in Danny Granger's absence but the Hawks haven't always made poor offensive teams look poor this season, as Charlotte, New York, and New Jersey can each attest. Any good defensive performance on the road is worthy of acclamation.
With 25 points (on 14 shots), 19 rebounds, and 5 blocks, I think Al Horford earned first quote in the recap:
"It all started with Josh setting the tone early on defense and I just tried to go in there and take what the defense was giving me in the post. That's the way I like to play, that's the way we play."Mike Woodson on Horford:
"Al had a monster game. It's nice to have him play like that."More from Woodson:
"I thought the day off really rejuvenated us. We had fresh legs. I thought we came out and established our game right off. We had a lot of juice going. I thought it carried over throughout the game."Jim O'Brien explains Indiana's role in the Atlanta win:
"We've been preparing for it [Atlanta's switches] for two days and it never registered with our players that the whole switching you spent Christmas Eve and this morning, talking about it in pregame and during timeouts and then acting like we were surprised they were switching. So I don't have an answer for that."