The Hawks entered the contest riding high off their 104-94 win over the Orlando Magic on Saturday night. The Bobcats came into the night contest reeling after their 101-91 loss against the New York Knicks on Friday night.
Al Horford (24 points and five rebounds) has continued his strong start to the season when many believed he wouldn’t be able to operate in the paint due to the signing of Paul Millsap (nine points and five rebounds). Millsap struggled this game, but he has been everything the Hawks thought he would be when they signed him this offseason.
The main reason for the Hawks’ strong start this season has been the emergence of Jeff Teague (14 points and 12 assist). He has accepted his role as the lead and has found a balance between his scoring and when to get his teammates involved.
The Bobcats were hoping that the return of Al Jefferson (10 points and seven rebounds) would be enough to lead this surprising team to victory. Kemba Walker (12 points and three assist) continues to struggle with his shot and has not shown the ability to set teammates up as well.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist (16 points and six rebounds) continues to morph into a complete player and shed the title of bust that has been hanging over his head since entering the league. Josh McRoberts (19 points, seven assist and six rebounds) has been a great addition to the team with his versatility and blue-collar approach that needs to rub off on the rest of the roster.
The Hawks proved to be a more focused team on this night than the Bobcats. The Hawks have veterans who have been to the playoffs and tasted NBA success. The Bobcats are still trying to find an identity and until they do, they will continue to have these roller-coaster games.