The Atlanta Hawks are flying high after last night’s huge win over the Magic in Orlando. And they accomplished this feat despite the absence of All-Star guard Joe Johnson, who underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow. Johnson could be sidelined for another month, so the Hawks must formulate a way to win without him.
Atlanta decided to go big against Orlando. They played Al Horford at the power forward position, moved Josh Smith over to the small forward spot, and started Jason Collins at center. Atlanta finally toppled their Southeast Division rivals after losing six straight, including last year’s playoff sweep. Smith came away with 19 points and 13 rebounds, while Horford added 16 points and 10 boards.
We’ll see if this lineup continues to work its magic against the Nets tonight when they compete for the second time this season. The Nets bested Atlanta 107-101 in overtime at New Jersey a couple weeks back. But it’s mostly been down hill for the Nets ever since. They dropped five of their last six games and took a beating from Boston on Sunday. Brook Lopez and Devin Harris, who average a combined 35.8 ppg, were held to 12 total points. The Nets will look for a boost from their leaders and fight to regain their footing before falling deeper into a rut.
Ian Eagle and I have the call from Philips Arena at 7:00 PM ET on YES.