Josh Smith has been quite dominant this current postseason against the Bucks, and along with Joe Johnson and the rest of the talent players from Atlanta, is giving the Hawks their first two-in-a-row playoff victories since 1970, when they beat the Bulls in the Western Division semifinals.
Atlanta is now dominating the series 2-0 and is heading to Milwaukee for games 3 and 4.
On the Hawks’ Tuesday night victory at Philips Arena, Smith finished with 21 points, fourteen rebounds and 9 assists while Johnson ended up with 27 in order to beat the Bucks by 96-86.
Smith certainly performed as he’s still trying to prove that he is an All-Star caliber player, as he was left out when Johnson and center Al Horford were chosen, leaving him out.
Mike Woodson, the coach for the Hawks, pointed out that Smith is quite a capable performer, saying that the 24 year old power forward just needs to be pressured to play at a high level in a constant basis in order to keep his head alert and focused on what he’s doing in the court (though this might actually apply to the whole team as a whole).
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The Hawks are certainly taking care of business at home, but now that they are heading to play at the Bradley Center to play the Bucks on Saturday, and since they have shown that they are not taking things for granted, they might as well obtain a third victory in a row, leaving the Wisconsin team with little chances of passing to the next playoffs round.
A good sign of how well the Hawks are performing is the amount of points scored by all of their five starting players whom ended up the game with double figures, but it is quite clear that Atlanta is having more chances of reaching the rim thanks to the absence of Andrew Bogut, the center that proved to be essential in qualifying Milwaukee to the postseason.
The Bucks started the game in a positive way, but the Hawks quickly took possession of the game, ending the first quarter 28-20, then Milwaukee recovered the lead for a brief time during the second quarter, putting things 32-30, but again, Atlanta retook command, finishing with a 52-46 second quarter lead.
A similar dynamic was present during the rest of the match, and, at the end, the Hawks acquired an important victory at home that allows them to visit Milwaukee unpressured.
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