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News » Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-11-01

Atlanta Hawks Getting Inside 2009-11-01After playing veteran guard Jamal Crawford just 12 minutes in the season opener, Hawks coach Mike Woodson had to make sure to remind Crawford that it was just the opener. He also sat Crawford down and reminded him that the Hawks need him doing what he's always done best -- score.

"I had to let him know that he is a big part of what we're doing here," Woodson said. "I can't sit here and say, 'Jamal I'm going to give you 35 minutes a game.' But I have to make him more a part of what we're doing, without a doubt. Because he has a position on this team where he can score the ball for us and be a big threat and take some of the pressure off of Joe (Johnson) and Mike (Bibby), Marvin (Williams), Josh (Smith) and Al (Horford).

"He is coming off the bench and you need guys coming off the bench to score the ball. I've got to help him and put him in positions where he can be successful and help us win games."

Crawford must have gotten the message. He led the Hawks with 15 points on 5-for-7 from the floor in the first half. It was the kind of performance that will come in handy in the next week -- the Hawks play four straight road games starting with the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday at Staples Center.

"It was good to see Jamal get into that kind of rhythm," Johnson said. "It was good to see, good for him and it's going to be good for us down the line to have him working like that out there. We need him to bring that extra element out there."

Crawford admitted to needing to hear some positive words of encouragment.

"It was good to hear from him," Crawford said. "All my friends and family were saying it. But it was good to hear it from him."

HAWKS 100, WIZARDS 89: The Hawks located the defensive effort that was missing in their season opening win over Indiana Wednesday.

And not a moment too soon, with Gilbert Arenas and the high-scoring Washington Wizards in town Friday night at Philips Arena.

After a sluggish start -- the Wizards ran off 12 straight points early in the game -- the Hawks put the brakes on all that and rolled to their second straight win, 100-89 before 17,079.

The balanced scoring effort from up and down the roster was an added bonus to a sterling defensive effort against a Wizards team that won in Dallas Tuesday night.

Not only were the Hawks' starters effective Friday night -- Josh Smith led four of them in double-figures with 20 points -- they got a huge night from their reserves. Jamal Crawford scored 15 of his 16 points in the first half to spark the early comeback, while Mo Evans added eight and Joe Smith seven points and six rebounds.

The Hawks forced 15 turnovers, that they converted into 18 points, and outrebounded the much larger Wizards 47-40, led by Al Horford's second straight double-digit effort (12). Horford finished his night with 10 points and five blocks, too. Marvin Williams added nine rebounds to go along with his 10 points and Smith had eight and two blocks. Hawks captain and All-Star Joe Johnson finished with 17 points, six assists and five rebounds.

"I think we have enough players that we can spread it around," Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. "There will be nights when Jamal is probably going to lead us in scoring. There's going to be nights when Al is going to lead us in scoring, and the same goes for Marvin and (Josh). We have enough offensive weapons if they just buy into sharing the basketball, and the minutes they get, they make the most of them.

"But you win in this league on the defensive end, in terms of defending and rebounding. And tonight, we made a serious effort to defend and rebound the ball."

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Added: November 1, 2009


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