Walter Tavares arrived in the Hawks 19-point comeback win over Houston on Tuesday.
The game was arguably Atlanta’s best win of the season. They won despite Kyle Korver shooting 0 for 11 from the floor, including 0 for 10 from the 3-point line.
Al Horford looked great, scoring 30 points, hitting 11 of 15 shots and 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Horford’s early three point shots were big as he drew Dwight Howard out from his usual camp under the basket. That allowed Atlanta to hang on the glass and only be outrebounded in the game by 1.
Korver may have stunk it up, but the other four Hawks starters all scored in the 20s. Millsap and Teague both had 22 and Kent Bazemore came up huge with 26 points. He was 5 of 9 from the 3-point line and knocked down one of the biggest shots of the game, a step-back three to tie the score late in the game, when Houston was on a run.
Despite the huge comeback win and all the heroics from Hawks starters, the event that may be most remembered was the coming out party of Walter Tavares. The 7’3″ center played 10 minutes and scored 6 points on 3 of 5 shooting. He also grabbed 6 rebounds and had a steal. If the Hawks could get 10-15 minutes a game from the big man at this level of play, it would be huge in adding depth to the bench and length on the court when needed.
Walter Tavares showed surprisingly good court awareness and ball skills for a man his size. He’s reasonably athletic and gets up and down the court fairly well. If the Hawks want him to develop, he needs to see the court. There may be some growing pains, but Tavares does appear to have significant upside.
The Hawks are enjoying a much needed absence from the court, but will return Sunday against the Knicks in New York.