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The Atlanta Hawks Enter the Holidays with a Win Over the Chicago Bulls

December 24th, 2012 at 4:47 PM
By Gordon Robinson

'Atlanta Hawks' photo (c) 2009, Mike - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/
Was it the energy, the embarrassment, the shake up of the starting lineup or the combination of all the above? The Hawks looked nothing like the team that was dominated by the Philadelphia 76ers as they go into the holidays on a victory. The Bulls were coming off of an emotional battle where they rattled the New York Knicks for a win. 

One part of the equation was Lou Williams, he was inserted into the starting line up and hit 14 first half points (16 total) to get Atlanta going. Another piece of the puzzle included Al Horford, he made some big baskets and led the team in rebounding (10). It may have been his familiarity with Joakim Noah and the want to beat his college buddy. Jeff Teague was pointed to by Coach Larry Drew as another major reason for the win. Teague's intensity on defense set the tone for the rest of the team, according to Coach Drew.

Again, all of that comes out to what Coach Drew refers to as the team's energy. In the post game Coach Drew pointed out, "I don't care what our strategy is, or what the game plan is. If we don't play with good energy we're not going to be successful." That energy led to the Hawks grabbing more boards than the Bulls, 45-31.

All five starters scored in double figures for the Hawks. Horford scored 20 points with 10 rebounds, Lou Williams hit 16 points and Kyle Korver shot 50 percent to get his 13 points. Josh Smith had 12 points and Jeff Teague finished with 11 points and eight assists. 

On the other hand, only two players reached double figures for Chicago, Luol Deng scored 11 points and Joakim Noah added 10 points and nine rebounds.

The Atlanta Hawks are off until after the holidays, they take on the Detroit Pistons, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Indiana Pacers and Houston Rockets to round out the year of 2012. 

Tags: Al Horford, Atlanta, Atlanta Hawks, Basketball, Jeff Teague, Joakim Noah, Larry Drew, Lou Williams, Luol Deng, NBA

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