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Blog Entry

Report Card: Hawks fly over the Heat

Posted on: January 2, 2012 11:03 pm
 
Posted by Royce Young


A: Atlanta Hawks

It's easy to overlook the boring old Hawks when talking about the class of the East. But remember: That team went to the Easter semifinals and gave the Bulls a decent run. Joe Johnson, Josh Smith, Al Horford -- there's talent there. And while we all may want to forget about them and talk about the Heat, Knicks and Celtics, the Hawks aren't some team to take lightly in the East. They sent a pretty clear message by outscoring Miami 33-21 in the fourth while executing halfcourt possessions and holding the Heat's big three in check.

A: Minnesota Timberwolves

Dating back to last season, the Wolves had lost 18 straight games, including their 0-3 start. But with a win over the Spurs, the Wolves have just taken two in a row. Luke Ridnour showed Ricky Rubio that the starting job isn't his yet (nine assists), Kevin Love was terrific and the Wolves handled the Spurs with pretty much no problem. Minnesota's 2-3 on the season with two really tough losses to Oklahoma City and Miami. Not far off from being 4-1.

B: Dwyane Wade's block

Sometimes Dwyane Wade does stupidly incredible things. His block on Vladamir Radmonovic was one of these such things. Why only a B? Well, it came in a losing effort and let's keep in mind, Wade denied Vladamir Radmonovic at the rim.

B: 2003

Tracy McGrady and Vince Carter turned back the clock Monday. McGrady put together a big night for the Hawks with 16 points in a win over the Heat and Carter added 14 against the Thunder for the Mavericks off the bench. The cousins were doing work on the same night for the first time in... well, a while.

C: Boston Celtics

Boston got back to .500 with a home win over the Wizards, but it wasn't easy. It took a big fourth quarter to put away Washington and the Celtics actually trailed with six minutes left. It's a win, which is what's important, but it wasn't exactly an impressive performance against an overmatched team.

D: Miami Heat

The Hawks aren't terrible. So if you want to openly mock the Heat for losing their first game, keep in mind the Hawks are a playoff team with some good players. However, Miami's offense went completely stale, the Heat never tried to run and with everything shut down in the fourth, neither LeBron nor Wade tried to go to work on the block. Which I thought was the plan, right? Miami wasn't going to go 66-0, but this was a decent wake up call.

F: Flip Saunders

The embattled Wizards coach didn't get to watch his team for long against the Celtics as he picked up two technicals and was ejected in the first quarter.
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