Reggie Theus, criticized as not being a team player for the Atlanta Hawks, got a standing ovation before the game with Philadelphia. He deserved it more at the end.
Theus scored 30 points, including 20 in the first half, as the Hawks routed the Sixers 135-93 Wednesday night, equalling the franchise's all-time record for margin of victory at 42 points.The Hawks' shooting guard, who came to Atlanta in an off-season trade for Randy Wittman, was criticized in recent media reports by some teammates and a former Hawks official as putting himself before the team.
"I've been through a lot in my 11 years, but I always found a way to bounce back," Theus said. "When you know you're doing the right thing, you have nothing to answer to."
The Hawks, 44-29 after the victory, have been on a rollercoaster ride through the NBA since acquiring Theus and Moses Malone before the season. They've beaten the Los Angeles Lakers and Cleveland Cavaliers on the road but also managed to lose to both Charlotte and Miami.
Theus said that despite the criticism, the Hawks have stayed together and can still win in the post-season.
"The playoffs are getting close, and I intend to contribute. We have so much talent that if we can get on a roll, it'll be hard to stop us," he said.