Horford's return was palpable at both ends, but especially offensively. Atlanta had been killing a power play on offense with Boston ignoring the Hawks' centers, but Horford made them pay. Joe Johnson said Boston's strategy of crowding him didn't change, but the result did; Horford was constantly open and he either scored on his own, found the open man (three assists), or facilitated a pass to open up a previously clogged offense.The Hawks have won two games in this series. In those games, they've made 17-45 (37.8%) of their 16-23' two-point jumpers and 14-36 (38.9%) of their three-point attempts. In their three losses, the Hawks have made 13-50 (26%) of their 16-23' two-point jumpers and 14-64 (21.9%) of their three-point attempts.
The telltale sign: Open corner 3-pointers. They'd been as rare as chowder in these parts, but Atlanta got several Tuesday night and converted 7-of-16 from distance. Marvin Williams, instated as a starter to guard Boston's Paul Pierce, made three of them, tripling his total from the first four games.
This team has to make jump shots to win, even against a similarly limited offensive team. Al Horford's ability to make open shots and create open shots for his teammates with his passing increases the Hawks' chances of making jump shots, even against an excellent defensive team.