Last night might have been the biggest game of the regular season for both the Hawks and the Warriors. The two teams with the NBA’s best record for their respective conference. The Hawks wanted to prove just how legitimate of a title contender they were and the Warriors, playing without 1/2 of the Splash Brothers needed to show they can make up for the loss of Klay Thompson’s scoring. Well one team had it and another floundered and we at Over the Grill are ready to tell you what this means.
The Golden State Warriors dropped the Atlanta Hawks 114-95 last night in Golden State, taking sole possession of the best record in the NBA at 54-13. The Hawks fell to 53-15. What does this mean? Well nothing yet other than the Hawks need Kyle Korver’s scoring and the Warriors don’t need Klay Thompson’s scoring. Golden State, with a large boost from Andre Iguodala off the bench, outscored the Hawks in all four quarters except the fourth, where each team scored 31. Once the Warriors got going, it was hard for the Hawks to keep up.
The Hawks struggled shooting from the field, converting only 35.6% of shot attempts. In particular, Al Horford, going 4-18, and key bench piece Dennis Schroder, going 1-12, had a rough night shooting. Jeff Teague couldn’t seem to get his passes through leading to a 6 turnover, 2 assist performance. A bright spot, somewhat, for the Hawks was the continued good performance of DeMarre Carroll, who finished tied in scoring for the Hawks and with a double-double, dropping 16 points and snagging a team high 12 rebounds, 6 of those being offensive. Carroll continues to look like a steal for the Hawks as he continues to contribute on a nightly basis.
On the other end, no Klay, no problem for the Steph Curry lead Warriors. Golden State got hot early and never looked back, hitting 52.4% from the field and impressive 46.7% from three-point land on their way to dropping 114 points on one of the best defensives in the NBA. Curry struggled shooting, hitting 4-11 from the field on his way to 16 points and dished out 12 assists. But Curry’s struggles were erased by the performances of Harrison Barnes, Draymond Green and Andre Iguodala. Barnes had a game high 25 points on 11-13 shooting, including 2-3 from 3. Green racked up 18 points on 6-11 shooting, hitting 5-7 from 3. And Iguodala filled up the stat sheet, hitting 9-12 on his way to 21 points along with 6 assists and a game high +/- rating of +26. Andrew Bogut, although going 0-3 from the field and unable to record a point, punished the Hawks on the boards, grabbing a game high 14 rebounds.
This game may seem discomforting for fans of the Hawks so close to the playoffs, but fear not; not having Kyle Korver on the court has more of an effect on the game then just missing his scoring. Korver has the ability to spread the floor for the Hawks that give players like Paul Millsap and Al Horford space to operate in the mid-range and pain areas. Korea will be back soon as he nurses his broken nose injury and I believe things will be back to normal down in Atlanta. If you are a Warriors fan, you are ecstatic. Your team just downed the 2nd best team in the NBA without much production from your star player, and missing your 2nd best player. The Warriors bench came to play and starters like Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green filled in the production lost when Thompson couldn’t go because of an ankle injury. If I am any other contender in the West, or the East for that matter, I am shaking in my boots thinking about playing the those three point snipers over in Golden State.