Entering the season, the Atlanta Hawks (8-4) had plenty of questions to answer with a number of new pieces and a tough schedule right from the jump. Twelve games into the new year, the Hawks seem to have found their stride.
Some might be surprised by Atlanta’s recent success, but Hawks forward Josh Smith said the hot start doesn’t come as a surprise.
“Like I said, when we find our stride we are going to be a pretty good team,” Smith said. “We are starting to gel and everybody’s starting to figure out. We look pretty good.”
Atlanta is currently riding a five game winning streak and have won six of their last seven outings. The Hawks have been moving the ball well and have the fifth highest assist total in the league (22.9 assists per game).
Much of the early success can be attributed to Hawks point guard Jeff Teague. Teague is averaging 13.8 points and 7.3 assists per game, and he finished the last two games with double-doubles. Against Charlotte Bobcats he finished with 13 points and 12 assists, and against the Los Angeles Clippers Saturday night Teague went for 19 points and 12 assists.
Another factor that has helped the Hawks run off five straight is a balance of contributors. Atlanta currently has five players averaging 11 or more points per game.
Kyle Korver is just one of the Hawks who has helped to provide a bit of an offensive boost over the past couple of weeks. He netted season highs of 22 points and seven rebounds against the Sacramento Kings to get the Hawks winning streak going. Korver also lit up the Washington Wizards for 16 Wednesday nigh, including a game-winning three pointer that prevented the Wizards from earning their first win of the season.
Louis Williams has served as one of the most potent scorers any NBA bench has had to offer over the past few years while playing with the Philadelphia 76ers. Williams is reprising that role in his first season as an Atlanta Hawk. He is averaging 13.3 points and 3.4 assists per game. Against the Clippers, Williams scored 18 points—14 during the 2nd and 3rd quarters, a period in which the Hawks outscored the Clippers 64-36.
“I was just playing aggressive,” Williams said after Saturday night’s win. “That’s what I bring to the table, just to be aggressive and try to create as many plays as I can.”
The Hawks will look to extend the winning streak to six as the take on the Cleveland Cavaliers Friday November 30 in Atlanta.