Jon Cooper - By the Numbers

By the Numbers: Halfway Home
By Jon Cooper

The Atlanta Hawks reached the midway mark of the 2009-10 season Wednesday night, disposing of Sacramento, 108-97, to pull in at 24-17 and in first place in the Southeast Division.

It's been a momentous first half for the Hawks.

Here are just some of the highlights.

0 - The number of players in the entire NBA who have scored more points than Jamal Crawford without starting a game. Crawford's averaging 17.1 ppg and has made 70 three-point field goals — both are second only to Joe Johnson (21.2, 72).

3 - The number of Atlanta Hawks teams that were off to better starts than this year's team. Only the 1993-94 Hawks (30-11) and '96-97 and '97-98 teams (29-12) were better after 41 games.

3 - Josh Smith's ranking in the league in blocks per game (2.20) and total blocks (90). "Smoove" has blocked at least one shot in 39 of the Hawks' 41 games and became the youngest player to reach 900 career blocks when he deflected a Gilbert Arenas three-pointer with 4:26 left in the fourth quarter on Oct. 30 against Washington.

3 - Atlanta's current rank in the Eastern Conference. The Hawks trail Cleveland by 4 1/2 games and Boston by 1/2 a game and lead the Southeast Division by 1/2 a game over Orlando.

4 - Mike Bibby's ranking in the league in assists-to-turnover ratio. Bibby's at 3.83.

10 - The number of games in which Joe Johnson has at least seven assists. The Hawks are 8-2 in those games. Johnson leads Atlanta with 4.9 assists per game.

12.1 - Atlanta's league-leading number for fewest turnovers per game.

13 - The career-high number of field goals Marvin Williams made against Houston on Nov. 20. Williams nearly doubled everyone else on the floor — no one on either team had more than seven — and scored a season-high 29 points (four off his career best) in Atlanta's 105-103 victory over the Rockets at Philips Arena.

15 - Williams' career-high number of rebounds pulled down Dec. 5 at Dallas. Marvin ripped down a game-high 14 defensive rebounds on a night that no other Hawk had more than six boards.

15 - The number of wins in 19 games in which Crawford has shot at least 50 percent from the field. You can choose which is more impressive: The 15-4 record or that he's shot at least 50 percent from the floor 19 times! BTW: Atlanta also is 7-2 when Crawford makes at least three three-point field goals.

16 - Atlanta's ranking in free throw shooting. The Hawks are shooting 76.1 from the line. Last season they were 28th in the league, making only 73.7 percent of their attempts.

17 - The number of wins at Philips Arena during the season's first half. The Hawks have more home wins than every team in the East but Charlotte (they can match the Bobcats with a win tonight) and every team but the Lakers (23) and Denver (19) in the West (San Antonio also has 17 home wins).

27 - Atlanta's wins total at the halfway mark. That's tied for second-most in the East (with Boston and Orlando) and is fifth in the entire NBA. They reached win No. 27 five games ahead of last year's 47-win pace. For a little perspective, it took Mike Woodson 127 games to reach 27 wins.

18 - The team-leading number of double-doubles by Al Horford. That's tied for 14th in the league and includes monster games at Indiana (25 points, 19 rebounds) on Dec. 26 and against New York (22, 19) six days later.

22 - The number of career four-point plays by Crawford. He has three this season and is only two behind former Indiana Pacer Reggie Miller for the all-time record.

39.6 - Mike Bibby's team-leading three-point shooting percentage. It's 27th in the league and only slightly behind his career-best single-season percentage of 40.9, which he shot in 2002-03 with Sacramento. Since coming to Atlanta, Bibby, a career 37.5. shooter from three, is shooting 38.6 (301-for-779).

48 - The number of players in NBA history with 5,000 career assists. Bibby became No. 49 with 26 seconds remaining in the second quarter on Jan. 1, when he fed Al Horford for a bucket.

146 - The number of points Atlanta scored in their 31-point rout of Toronto on Dec. 2, 2009 at Philips. It was the most points scored by a Hawks team in 16 years (they scored 149 on Jan. 30, 1993 in a 149-123 victory over Philadelphia). Atlanta had nine players score in double-figures, one away — actually one Mo Evans point shy — of tying the NBA record.

20,150 - The attendance at Atlanta's Dec. 29 game with the Cleveland Cavaliers. It was the biggest crowd ever to see a regular-season game at Philips Arena and the second-biggest audience ever for a basketball game — only Game Six against Boston on May 2, 2008 was larger. That game drew 20,425.

Jon Cooper is a freelance writer based in Atlanta.