Hawks post five straight wins

Photo by Jon Barash

The Hawks have gotten back to their win- ning ways that they experienced early in the season after escaping one of the worst losing streaks in recent years. The turnaround corresponded with several players coming back from injuries and picking up where they left off. Paul Millsap is back, and is trying to make-up for lost time. In his first six games back from injury, he has averaged 20.3 points a game and 7.3 rebounds a game. Millsap even recorded the first triple-double of his career in Tuesda’s

While playing alongside Pero Antic, Millsap has really performed beyond the All-Star level that Hawks fans have come to expect. Antic allows the Hawks to properly space the floor by stepping out beyond the arc and offering a mid range game. He also displays excel- lent court vision to go along with quick deci- sion making to find the open man and the best open look.Pero came back one game before Millsap and is averaging 11.9 points per game to go along with 4.7 rebounds and 1.4 assists. Where Antic was the most missed, was the defensive end of the floor. His defensive presence in the paint keeps quicker guards from attacking the paint with reckless abandon, while also limit-ing the damage done by opposing players in the post.

DENNIS THE MENACE…

Complementing the return of numerous players from injury is the emergence of Dennis Schröder and his role off the bench. While his stats are similar to early in the season, he is now playing with more confidence and no longer scared to make a mistake. This allows him to play with controlled aggression that opens up lanes in the defense for players to fill and find open shots. Right now the Hawks are four games up on the Knicks for the final playoff spot in the East. They are also four games behind the Nets for the sixth seed in the playoffs, where they would get a more favorable matchup against the Raptors or the Bulls and avoid the two stal-warts of the East, Miami and Indiana, until the second round.

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