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Violating NBA Procedure, Hawks Win Without Contributions From Stars

If I told you that the Hawks would play a road game in which their two best players - Joe Johnson and Josh Smith - would combine for 15 points on 7-25 shooting and would go 1-7 from the free throw line, what would your guess for the final score be? 94-72 sounds about right, but with the Hawks losing, not with them winning. How do we explain that game last night?


A sign that Jeff Teague and Marvin Williams are both playing better now that they are farther removed from Mike Woodson's offense-killing clutches? A commentary that the Hornets are a horrendous basketball team, especially with Eric Gordon and Chris Kaman out? A reflection on what happens when a Hawks team that is improved defensively plays against a team with no legitimate offensive threats? A little reward for suffering through the Drew Brees tongue bath that was the Falcons' Monday night visit to New Orleans in December?

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.