The Atlanta Hawks showcased nine players in double-digits, collectively netting 42 second quarter points en route to claiming victory over the Toronto Raptors 146-115 Wednesday night at Philips Arena. Al Horford led the Hawks in scoring with 24 points, followed by Josh Smith and Jamal Crawford collecting 16 apiece. Joe Johnson produced 12 points while dishing out 11 assists.
“I think it had something to do with their back-to-back games,” said Crawford. “We jumped out early and didn’t look back the whole game.” Atlanta shot 60.5 percent from the floor in the first half, racking up 75 points before heading into the locker room.
The 7-13 Raptors have now lost five straight on the road. Chris Bosh (averages 25 points per game) when asked what went wrong chose to criticize his team on the defensive end, instead of re-assessing his own dismal two-point performance in 16 minutes played. “We didn’t magically appear last on the charts defensively,” said Bosh. “The team’s defensive effort hasn’t been there for a while. I mean, tonight was just a total embarrassment.” The Raptors will have a chance to redeem themselves on Friday against the Washington Wizards as the Hawks move on to face the New York Knicks.
Recap – The Atlanta Thrashers have been playing mediocre hockey all year long. They have not been good, not been bad, not been exciting, and not been disappointing. How can that happen? Well, they do play in Atlanta and hockey is definitely not the number one prioritized sport down in Georgia Bulldog country. One thing that may stir some excitement for the team is Atlanta is the site of the 2008 NHL All-Star Weekend, playing host to the game on January 27, 2008. Two Thrashers wingmen, Ilya Kovalchuk and Marian Hossa, will be joining the festivities and partake in the All-Star game as members of the Eastern Conference team.
2nd Half – Without the fans behind you, it is always very tough to win. The Thrashers do not have the support they need and will just continue to float around the .500 win percentage mark all season long. That may be good enough to squeak into the last playoff spot, but do not count on it.
Team Name: Atlanta Thrashers (23-25-3)
Southeast Division Standing: 2nd place
Conference Standing: T-9th place
Final Predictions: 2nd in Southeast Division, 10th in Eastern Conference
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