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Washington Wizards vs. Atlanta Hawks: Hawks 44, Wizards 40, Half: Hawks Bench Saves Starter's Bacon

A couple of years ago when I wrote games for PA SportsTicker, this would be one of those games where my attention would be on just about anything other than the game.  Whether it's try to find the covered-up tattoo on the A-Town Dancer, count the missed shots or the watch your colleagues do their expense report game, the season opener between the Atlanta Hawks and Washington Wizards has been a downright snoozer.

Jamal Crawford did excite the crowd with his sweet layup off of a feed from Joe Johnson and Jeff Teague and Zaza Pachulia have done their part off of the bench.  Of course, it helped that the "high-flying" Wizards offense came to a screeching halt in the second and that they didn't manage a point in the final 5:28 of the second quarter.

But this play pretty much typified the second 12 minutes of the basketball game.  Josh Smith makes his only swat of the game and takes the ball up the court with a good 6-8 seconds left, only to fumble the basketball instead of passing it to Crawford on the wing.

Atlanta has 11 turnovers and Washington has 12 in this matchup that's definitely being played down to the level of the woeful Wizards.  Crawford leads Atlanta  with 11 points and Teague, Johnson and Smith have six each for Atlanta, which is shooting just 39-percent from the field (16-for-41).  Heck, at least they made all 10 of their free throws, including all four by J. Smoove. 

Come to think of it... That used to be a game we used to play during these games... Will Smith hit or miss the next free throw.. Back in the day, that used to be a 50-50 proposition.  This year, he's 7-for-8.  It's good to see the kid growing up.

Oh yeah.. To the point of the headline of this entry... The bench has 22 of Atlanta's 44 points in the first half. The starting five wold be lost without them tonight.

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