It’s amazing how much better the Atlanta Hawks play when most of the team is healthy. The Hawks may have lost last night’s game to the Los Angeles Clippers at the Staples Center, but it was nice to see the team compete at a high level again with Pero Antic and Paul Millsap back on the floor. Los Angeles is one of the hottest teams in the NBA right now, and the fact that the Hawks even stuck around is surprising after seeing them play the last couple of weeks.
The starters brought their A-game to the floor against the Clippers last night. With Millsap and Antic plugged into the starting lineup, everyone benefited from their presence on the court. Especially the sharpshooters on the team such as Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll. Both of these players lit up the scoreboard against the Clippers to try and guide the Hawks to a surprise road win at the Staples Center.
Carroll ended the game as the leading scorer for Atlanta as he finished with 19 points. He went an impressive 7-for-14 from the field, which included going 3-for-6 from beyond the arc in a great effort for the Hawks. His teammate, Korver, benefited even more from the inclusion of Millsap and Antic on the court. He managed to score 17 points and went an outstanding 6-for-7 from the field. The three-point specialist didn’t miss any of the threes he shot last night either, as he finished 3-for-3 from long range.
The best part about the game with the Clippers is that the Hawks didn’t back down when faced with adversity. Los Angeles took an 11-point lead in the fourth quarter, and instead of lying down like they had in previous games, the Hawks fought till the last minute in order to give themselves a chance. In fact, if not for a missed free throw from Jeff Teague at the end of the game, Atlanta would have taken this game into overtime with all of the momentum going in their favor too.
In the end, the Hawks didn’t get the job done, but they proved something in last night’s loss. They proved that with a healthy roster, this team is capable of winning any game as the season goes on.