Sunday, October 25, 2009

Jamal Crawford scores a team-high while Dwight Howard and Vince Carter look in mid-season form

In the Atlanta Hawks last preseason game before the regular season starts next week, four of their starting five played at least twenty minutes. However, so did the Orlando Magic, who reminded the Hawks who the defending Eastern Conference champion was while on route to a blowout 123-86 win.

The win kept the Orlando Magic (8-0) with a perfect record, remaining the only unbeaten team. In fact, every team has at least two losses.

For the Hawks (5-2), their All-Star and leader, Joe Johnson led the Hawks starters with 11 points. He only shot 2-of-9 from the field, but was 7-of-9 from the charity stripe. Forward Josh Smith chipped in with 10 points, the only other Hawk starter to make it to double-digit points.

Smith, who is coming off his best season in the NBA, is expecting big things for himself and his team this season. He also had 6 rebounds and led all players with five personal fouls in almost 30 minutes of action.

The new duo of Dwight Howard and Vince Carter is in full swing and looks ready to explode come next week. Both Howard and Carter played more than half of the game, and both shot 9-of-10 from the field.

Howard finished with 25 points, 13 rebounds (all defensive), and 3 blocked shots. Carter had a game-high 26 points that went with his game-high five three pointers. Carter was perfect from behind-the-arc. His five 3-pointers were more than the Hawks made as an entire team.

Atlanta’s new backup point guard Jamal Crawford’s 30 minutes and 49 seconds of action was the most anyone saw in Friday night’s game. His 14 points on 5-of-10 shooting led the Hawks.

The Hawks’ first round draft pick, Jeff Teague, got a chance to get some good game experience with 25 minutes of action. Unfortunately, he was 0-of-15 from the field, including 0-of-4 from the free-throw line. He did lead the Hawks with four assists.

In the Hawks’ seven preseason games, Teague averaged 12.1 points and 4.3 assists per game. He did shoot an exceptional .871 from the foul line, but only made one of the eleven 3’s he shot in the seven games. His highest point total of the preseason, 19 points, came in the Hawks’ preseason opener against the New Orleans Hornets on October 7th. He also played the most minutes he saw in any preseason game against the Hornets with 33.

The Hawks will make their 2009-2010 season debut on Wednesday at 7pm at Indiana against the Pacers.