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Hawks Vs. Heat: Zone Defense Key In Atlanta's Victory Over Miami

On Monday night, the Atlanta Hawks took a page out of the books from the Boston Celtics and the Dallas Mavericks from last season. The zone was a necessary change of pace that enabled the Hawks to slow down the game and had the Heat settling for long contested jump shots.

"I didn't know how good the zone would be," Drew said. "I just wanted to try to keep the game at a pace that would allow us to play at a speed that would slow them down. They missed some shots so it worked to our advantage tonight. Some nights it doesn't work to your advantage."

Atlanta's Tracy McGrady had a big night off the bench for the Hawks and he also credited the switch to the zone for slowing down the Heat. Miami came into the game leading the NBA in fast-break points but the Hawks held them to just 10 in the game.

"The Celtics had success [with the zone]," McGrady said. "Dallas had the most success. Teams are just taking a little bit of what they did to them. You can't play them one-on-one, I'm sorry. LeBron and D-Wade, I don't give a damn how good your defense is, you can't play them one-on-one so you have got to come up with something different."

Atlanta will only get to enjoy this win briefly as they are right back at it on Tuesday when they will close out their three-game road-trip in Chicago against the Bulls.

For more on this game Hawks fans should check out Peachtree Hoops and Heat fans should check out Peninsula is Mightier. For more news and analysis on NBA Basketball, check out SB Nation's NBA Basketball Hub.

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