Archives For November 2012

RECAP: Hawks 112, Kings 96

Daniel Christian —  November 17, 2012

FINAL

SAC(2-7) 96 – 112 (4-4) ATL

Key Performers:

K. Korver (ATL): 22 pts, 7 rebs, 3 asts, 1 stl
J. Thompson (SAC): 19 pts, 10 rebs
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Welp everyone, the the Kings are still terrible. Especially on defense. The Hawks had 3 players score 20 or more and 5 drop 15-plus in a 112-96 victory on Friday night.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smith finally put together his first really strong game of the season, sticking with Tyreke Evans all night defensively and not taking a gazillion jumpers en route to chalking up 19, 8, 6, and 3. 8/10

Al Horford: Horford finally attempted more shots than any other Hawks player, and while he wasn’t 100 percent or playing as well as usual, look what happened! He had 20 and 10 on an off shooting night. Lets keep getting him the ball. 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: It was a solid night for Pachulia who, along with Horford, did a solid job controlling the boards and the Kings’ front court. 7, 7, and 4 are fine numbers, but you’d like to see him do better than 3-6 from the line. 5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver was lights out from beyond the arc, connecting on all 5 of his 3-point attempts and making 7 of 9 field goals. If you get this guy open looks, he will not miss. He also dunked! Did you know Korver could dunk?! 9/10

Jeff Teague: Teague got off to another hot start, scoring 13 first quarter points (6-7) and absolutely abusing Isaiah Thomas’ defense. He sat the end of the first and most of the second, then played a little bit of the third, and then missed the entire 4th quarter again. It’s one of the more perplexing storylines of the Hawks’ season thus far. Why is one of Atlanta’s best playmakers on such a short leash? He had 15 points on 7-10 shooting in 19 minutes. (He did have 5 turnovers, though). #FREEJEFFTEAGUE  6/10 Continue Reading…

Epidemic in Atlanta

Bo Churney —  November 15, 2012

paranormal activity in the bedroom

You wake up in a cold, nervous sweat. You had fallen asleep watching The Walking Dead, resulting in a freakish nightmare ending in the window being broken open. You look over and see that the window is perfectly intact. Shaken, you get up for some water and hope to calm down before going back to bed.

After getting a glass of water from the tap in the kitchen, you walk back into your room when you hear it…

Clank… clank… clank…

“It’s… it’s probably just some branches being thrown around by the wind outside!” you say to yourself, clearly uncertain that this was true. The nightmare had taken its toll, and just to be safe, you check out the window; the night air is absent of even the slightest breeze. Then, you hear it again, only louder…

Clank… clank… clank… Continue Reading…

FINAL

GSW(4-4) 92 – 88 (3-4) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 16 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls
H. Barnes (GSW): 19 pts, 13 rebs, 1 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Life without Al Horford was worse than expected. Golden State turned the ball over 23 times, but managed to lead almost the entire game as the Hawks were unable to run anything effectively on offense and were pounded on the boards.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: It was a Josh Smith long-two-apalooza as he again, to the chagrin of every non-Warriors fan watching, chucked 18 footers with hands in his face and tried turnaround fadeaways like he was Carmelo Anthony or something. At least when the fourth quarter rolled around he was less inclined to just heave the ball in the general direction of the rim like he had been doing, and because of that he got into a little bit of a rhythm attacking David Lee off the dribble. He also had two amazing blocks and was solid on defense all night. He did pull down 10 boards, but considering how badly the Hawks were dismantled in that category, more would have been nice. 6/10

Ivan Johnson: Who saw that coming? The Hawks were all but finished before Ivan reeled off 7 straight 4th-quarter points to give Atlanta a punchers chance. He missed two big free throws, but he was an efficient 7-8 from the field and scored 15 points. As Draymond Green learned (was it a broken jaw?), don’t get in Ivan’s way when he’s in the zone, because if you do, there will be blood. 8/10

Zaza Pachulia: Pachulia suffered an eye injury early in the game, and while he wasn’t rolling on all cylinders before then, he never really contributed anything once he returned. He had 4 points and 2 rebounds in 24 minutes. We needed more on the boards. And I’m not sure what the exact injury was, but the word laceration sounds bad and his stitches were huge, so I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt and say he played with one eye. 3/10

Lou Williams: 4th-Q Lou definitely showed up after a shaky first 3 quarters as he single-handedly saved the Hawks from being carried off to the back of the alley and beaten by the Warriors’ pesky, trapping defense. He hit 3 consecutive 3-pointers in the waning minutes of the game, disregarding any offensive schemes, because at that point, with no point guard on the court, he figured to hell with it, they weren’t going to work anyway. So he went bombs away from downtown and caught fire, but it wasn’t enough to save the Hawks from themselves, who couldn’t grab a rebound off of a Stephen Curry missed three in a one possession game with under 20 seconds to go. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had a strong start to the game, scoring 5 points, dishing out 4 assists, and grabbing 3 rebounds in the opening 9 minutes. After that, things didn’t go as smoothly. He airballed a few jumpers and made a few silly mistakes, but was still running the offense to an at least a passable level. Apparently, none of that was good enough for head coach and rotation extraordinaire Larry Drew, who benched him the entire 4th quarter. Given Teague’s effectiveness in the last 3 close games the Hawks’ had played (Indiana, Miami, and Portland), you would have thought that Drew would have put the reins of the team in the hands of its best playmaker, especially without its best player in general at his disposal. But no. He didn’t. He played Anthony Tolliver instead. 5/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 95, Blazers 87

Bo Churney —  November 13, 2012

FINAL

POR(2-5) 87 – 95 (3-3) ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 15 pts, 10 rebs, 4 asts
J. Hickson (POR): 19 pts, 18 rebs, 2 stls
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks led by double-digits at halftime, but the Blazers battled back to make it a game in the fourth quarter. After back-to-back-to-back buckets by Horford, plus another from Teague, Atlanta had a 91-87 lead late. However, LaMarcus Aldridge missed two free throws to secure the game for the Hawks.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: He wasn’t that involved early, but he got going after, including that stretch I mentioned in the fourth. He did have 10 boards, but allowed Hickson to destroy him in that facet of the game. 7/10

Josh Smith: He played sick and was doing fine until he went on a jump-shooting frenzy late in the game. He did disrupt LMA, though, limiting Aldridge to 4-13 shooting and drawing five turnovers. If he learns to be efficient, he’ll be fine. (And he made 100% of his free throws this game!) 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: He had nine rebounds and two blocks, but went 1-6 from the field. He had a couple of “what the heck are you doing” moments”, but his work on the boards in 23 minutes was key. 6/10

Lou Williams: He had 11 points and four steals in 18 minutes, despite being sick like Smoove. Strong performance in such a little time. 7/10

Jeff Teague: I thought he and Lilliard were going to both have strong performance, but they were both kinda of “meh”, with Jeff being the stronger of the two. The good news is that he is continuing to lead the Hawks in distribution (he had eight dimes tonight), which I wasn’t necessarily confident would happen at the start of the season. 13 and eight is good enough despite the poor shooting performance. 7/10 Continue Reading…

Aldridge

I did a podcast with Portland Roundball Society’s Sean Highkin; you can click here to check it out.

We go over many topics, including why Anthony Morrow and Jeff Teague should be playing more, why Josh Smith is still struggling, and whether or not the Hawks will be able to contain Portland wing Nicolas Batum. Why are you still reading this, go listen to it!

LA Lakers Hire Mike D’Antoni

Bo Churney —  November 12, 2012

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Welp, there goes my dream hire for the Hawks after the season.

D’Antoni was selected over Phil Jackson and will sign a four-year deal with the Lakers. Unlike most people, I like this hire, as I think Phil was asking for too much, and that the triangle would essentially turn Steve Nash into Derek Fisher. D’Antoni’s system that is highly reliant on the pick-and-roll should work with Nash, Gasol, and Dwight with almost no problems. As long as Kobe still gets his shots, no one in Lakerland should be upset with this decision at all.

The biggest criticism facing D’Antoni is that he won’t fix the Lakers’ defensive struggles. I actually disagree with this notion; while his Suns teams weren’t the best at defense, his Knicks’ defense with Tyson Chandler was one of the best in the league last year. People will try to attribute that to Mike Woodson, despite the fact that Woodson’s Hawks never finished in the top ten in DRtg in his tenure in Atlanta.

D’Antoni’s teams in Phoenix were always average defensively, even though his starting bigs were Amar’e Stoudemire and Boris Diaw. I think he’ll be fine with Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol clogging the paint. Continue Reading…

FINAL

LAC(5-2) 89 – 76 (2-3) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 13 pts, 6 rebs, 4 asts, 3 blks
C. Paul (LAC): 15 pts, 2 rebs, 8 asts, 1 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks turned the ball over 10 times in the 4th quarter and 22 times in the game, giving the Clippers ample opportunity to burry Atlanta beneath their own mistakes. In a game that saw both teams struggle to score from the field, Atlanta gift-wrapped LA a package of fast breaks, high percentage shots, and more possessions, all leading to the Clippers pulling away in the 4th and notching an 89-76 win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford played an alright game, scoring 11 points and grabbing 9 rebounds, but he only attempted 10 shots. He continues to not have enough opportunities and/or plays run for him to score the ball, and eventually Larry Drew is going to realize that Al Horford needs to be taking more shots than anyone on this team every single night. 6/10

Josh Smith: Smith took advantage of his matchup with Caron Butler early on, routinely working him on the block as he scored or was fouled on 4 of his 6 first half shot attempts from the post . However, the second half was a disaster. Smith forced passes, forced shots, and made a slew of bad decisions in the 4th quarter that played a large role in the Hawks’ offense falling apart. 6/10

Zaza Pachulia: In 30 minutes of play Pachulia managed to score 5 points, pull down 6 rebounds, and turn the ball over 4 times. It wasn’t the best of nights for Zaza, but chasing around the Clippers’ ultra-athletic front court can’t be easy. 3/10

Kyle Korver: Every time Korver steps into a shot, you just know it’s going in. This guy doesn’t miss when he gets an open shot, especially in transition. He went 2-6 from beyond the arc, but not every look was clean. 5/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had a tough act to follow after playing one of the most efficient games of his career on Friday night against Miami, and while he had another solid outing, it wasn’t what most of us have come to expect. However, it’s gotten to the point where I feel like every single offensive possession needs to be set up by Teague or it’s going to be a disaster. He is the engine that drives this offense, so 27 minutes isn’t going to cut it.  6/10

Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 89, Heat 95

Daniel Christian —  November 9, 2012

FINAL

MIA(5-1) 95 – 89 (2-2) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 20 pts, 3 rebs, 11 asts, 1 blk
L. James (MIA): 21 pts, 11 rebs, 9 asts, 1 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks trailed by 9 points midway through the 4th quarter, but a run fueled by Jeff Teague and Al Horford put the Hawks in position to win the game. However, a few questionable calls and some shaky defense led to a LeBron James dagger with 13 seconds to go, sealing a Heat win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford:  He attempted only 9 shots and didn’t even shoot a free throw, although he did have some nice high-low action with Josh Smith. The offense needs to start running through him more than it runs through Smith, though. It’s just that simple. And that’s on Larry Drew. 6/10

Josh Smith: It was a disaster night for Smith, who went 6-19 from the field and 1-5 from the line. Even when he wasn’t shooting jumpers (which he of course did his fair share of), he was struggling to make anything around the hoop. His frustration was visible by the end of the game, but it was just an all-around off night for J-Smoove. 3/10

Zaza Pachulia: Zaza was effectively neutralized on the boards, pulling down only 4 rebounds in his limited 14 minutes of action. He seemed to be overmatched defensively and never found his niche in the game. He was called for a technical early in the 4th and didn’t receive any grace from the zebras after that.   2/10

Anthony Morrow: Coach Drew has seemed reluctant to play him so far this season, but he shouldn’t feel that way after tonight. Morrow was unconscious from all over the floor, and if it wasn’t for him and Teague, the Hawks probably would have lost by 30. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Teague played a nearly flawless game, scoring 20 points on 7-8 shooting and racking up 11 assists as he picked Miami’s transition defense apart. It’s too bad he had to ruin his perfect 7-7 night from the field with a pointless runner as time expired. Does it matter, though? He was fantastic. 10/10

Continue Reading…

Tonight’s likely starting lineups for the game against the Heat will be Teague/Korver/Stevenson/Smith/Horford against Chalmers/Wade/James/Battier/Bosh

Eh…

Stevenson is essentially a must in the starting lineup against the Heat; that much is obvious. The Korver decision is a little more interesting, though. Korver trying to check Wade on defense is likely to be a nightmare; however, watching Wade try and keep up with Kyle through a mountain of screens will be interesting.

In my opinion, I think that Zaza should have made the starting lineup for this game. We’ll likely see a lot of him, but I feel like he’s someone who could disrupt Chris Bosh early in the game and get some offensive boards to prevent Miami from running as much as they want. Of course, not having Zaza in the lineup means that Atlanta is more likely to try to run as much as possible. (Zaza’s not exactly the transition-game type) We will also miss out on the LeBron/Battier vs Smith/Horford battle, which would have been extremely fun to watch as a fan of basketball.

By the way, LeBron’s point totals in his last nine games versus Atlanta? 31, 23, 28, 34, 43, 34, 22, 27, and 48. (that’s an average of over 32) So who knows, maybe having a strategy that’s different from “let Marvin Williams handle it” could work.

Game starts at 7:30 ET.

RECAP: Hawks 89, Pacers 86

Bo Churney —  November 7, 2012

FINAL

IND(2-3) 86 – 89 (2-1) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 15 pts, 6 rebs, 6 asts, 3stls
G. Hill (OKC): 20 pts, 3 rebs, 5 asts, 4 stls
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were down by as many as 14 in the fourth quarter, but a few adjustments from coach Larry Drew, as well as timely shots from Kyle Korver and Jeff Teague, gave Atlanta their 2nd win on the year. The Pacers, who are missing Danny Granger, only scored nine points in the final period, despite scoring 25 or more in the first three quarters.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford couldn’t do much on the defensive end against David West, but he was his normal, efficient self on offense. He did most of his damage on Roy Hibbert, including an absolutely ferocious dunk in the 2nd quarter. 8/10

Josh Smith: His scoring performance tapered off after he scoring on three consecutive post plays to start the game, but his passing game was excellent with seven assists. He only took four jumpers, which is… progress? 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: Going up against Roy Hibbert, Zaza got the well-deserved start and did not disappoint. He had 14 rebounds, incluing six on the offensive end, and completely took the Pacers’ big-man out of the game. His only drawback was his three turnovers. 9/10

Lou Williams: We didn’t get “4th-Q Lou” this time around. He played pretty terrible, even though he did have a couple of key dunks. 4/10

Jeff Teague: He finished with 15-6-6 and three steals in 32 minutes. He wasn’t really successful early in the game, but he stayed aggressive, and his back-to-back buckets in the final minute were the daggers for the Hawks. 8/10 Continue Reading…