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The first half of the season has been a dramatic change from the 2009-10 team, which had few injuries and finished fourth in the Eastern Conference with 53 wins before losing in the second round of the playoffs.

“I think this year’s team has definitely had a lot more adversity,” Johnson said. “Somebody has always been out. I don’t know if we’ve ever been fully healthy to where we’re able to play together for a whole week.

“I think we’re a lot more mature and it’s starting to show out there on the court. We’re starting to come together.”

Drew, the former Hawks assistant under Mike Woodson who is in his first season as coach, has stressed defense and more balanced scoring as strengths to help the team overcome injuries.

The Hawks have four players scoring more than 16 or more points per game: Johnson, Josh Smith, Horford and Crawford. Williams and Mike Bibby also have averages in double figures.

“Guys have stepped up big-time,” Drew said. “We feel the strength of our ballclub is not just one guy, it’s us as a team. When we play both ends of the floor, we’re a pretty good ballclub.”