Andre Iguodala crushed the dreams of the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night as his last-second three-pointer found the bottom of the net to give the Golden State Warriors the 101-100 win. The victory moved the Warriors’ current winning streak to eight games and dropped the Hawks record for the 2013-14 NBA season to just 18-15.
The Hawks are basically trying to keep their heads above water right now. After establishing themselves pretty clearly as the third best team in the Eastern Conference, Atlanta suffered a tremendously devastating blow when they lost big man Al Horford to a torn pectoral muscle for what appears to be the rest of the season.
In the interest of survival, though, Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer has been trying to shuffle lineups as of late, especially in regards to his frontcourt. On Friday night against Golden State, that meant putting 31-year-old rookie Pero Antic at center for the first start of his young career.
Despite having never started in this league and having been used relatively sparingly for much of this season, Antic was more than ample against the Warriors. In 27 minutes, Antic put up 16 points, seven rebounds and one steal while shooting 6-9 from the floor and stretching the floor to shoot 4-6 from beyond-the-arc.
Antic didn’t have a consistent role until the Horford injury occurred and his play has been inconsistent since then. However, he’s shown that he’s a big body with a lot of skill and a game that’s been polished playing on the other side of the pond. While Friday was the best game of his still infant career, I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s more good things to come from Antic with Atlanta.