Archives For December 2012

FINAL

HOU (17-14) 123 – 104 (19-10) ATL

Key Performers:
C. Delfino (HOU): 22 pts, 4 rebs, 8 asts
A. Horford (ATL): 18 pts, 13 rebs, 4 asts, 1 stl

[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks, plagued by poor perimeter defense, allowed Carlos Delfino and James Harden to rain fire from outside the arc. Atlanta cut Houston’s lead to 5 in the fourth quarter, but Jeremy Lin’s stout defense and more defensive lapses from the Hawks enabled Delfino and the Rockets to put Atlanta away for good.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smith’s strong defensive presence inside was one of the main reasons the Hawks were able to cut into the lead in the third quarter. He never played in the fourth as LD was resting Josh’s sore knee so he’d be available for tomorrow night, but 17 points and 7 rebounds in just 23 minutes isn’t too shabby. He also hit the jumpers he took, and while his shot selection wasn’t stellar, there’s no point with arguing the results. He was 5-12 from the field, but most of the misses, surprisingly, were within 15-feet. 6/10

Al Horford: Horford played a fantastic game as he initiated the offense early and was a beast on the boards. He hit his mid-range jumpers and played strong defense, but like Smith, he didn’t see any run in the 4th quarter. He played 31 minutes, and he was awesome in all 31. 9/10

Lou Williams: There are times when Lou Williams just cannot seem to miss. And for a stretch in the second half, it was one of those times. Lou caught fire from the perimeter and single-handedly resurrected a dead Atlanta offense. He came off of screens for his patented drifting three-pointers, he penetrated the lane for floaters and layups, and he seemed to cause quite a few Houston defensive breakdowns. He was the spark in this game, and had he played in the fourth quarter, the Hawks might have won this game– or at least seen a more friendly final score. 8/10

Zaza Pachulia: Zaza had one or two nice moments tonight, but for the most part, he was beat up inside by Greg Smith and Omer Asik. Both of those guys out-muscled and out-rebounded him in what was a difficult night for Pachulia. 2/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was a wreck to start the game, turning the ball over and missing from all over the field, but he initiated the Hawks second big 2nd half run. By the time the fourth quarter rolled around, he was playing pesky defense, initiating the fast break, and finding open players. He finished with 9 assists on the night, but his 5 turnovers and 4-17 shooting line was the real story. Had he not struggled so much so early, Atlanta might have been in a better position going into the half.  5/10

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FINAL

IND(17-13) 100 – 109 (19-9) ATL

Key Performers:

L. Williams (ATL): 21 pts, 3 reb, 12 asts
D. West (IND): 29 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

With Josh Smith, Devin Harris, and Anthony Morrow all out nursing injuries, the Hawks used a great team effort to take down the Pacers, who were right behind them in the Eastern Conference standings. Despite 16 turnovers, Atlanta was able to control the pace of the game, and took Roy Hibbert completely out of everything. The Hawks are now one game out of first place in the East, and are on a four game winning streak.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Al’s shooting form looked much improved tonight (he said so himself in postgame), which allowed him to score 20 points on just 13 shots. He also had some great passes to Zaza, and did not turn the ball over once. He really didn’t allow David West to get much room when he was shooting, but it’s hard to stop a guy when he’s hitting step-back three pointers. 8/10

Lou Williams: Lou had eight assists in just the 1st quarter, which was already one off of his career high. He wasn’t doing anything flashy, but guys were just making shots after he created some small holes in the defense. He hit some timely threes (which prompted some “YOLO!” shots, of course), and for the most part, his perimeter shots were falling at a good rate. He couldn’t really finish around the rim in this one, but 21 and 12 on 17 shots is still a strong game. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Indy tried attacking Korver in the post early, and it was working, but Korver did start to step it up a bit later in the game. Along with his usual great help defense, he actually started to show so good one-on-one work, as he was able to keep guys out of the paint. Like Lou, he also hit some timely threes, which is extremely pivotal for a game that was a single-digit margin for the majority of the time. 7/10

Jeff Teague: The box score says he played for the first three quarters, but he really didn’t do much in those. He did have some problems when the Pacers hedged and doubled hard off of PnRs, resulting in some ATL turnovers, but he was able to shake it off and truly deliver down the stretch of the game to keep the lead out of Indy’s reach 7/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

CLE (7-24) 94 – 102 (18-9) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 27 pts, 2 reb, 8 asts, 2 stls
K. Irving (CLE): 28 pts, 6 reb, 5 asts, 4 stls
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Kyrie Irving is ridiculous. It’s common knowledge at this point, but it’s worth noting even if it’s redundant. He’s so crafty with the ball, has an incredible stroke, and just goes through stretches where he is absolutely unguardable. It looked like he was ready to put the Hawks away in this one, but Jeff Teague had a career high and was just as unguardable as Kyrie tonight. It was through his offensive onslaught that the Hawks were able to pull away in the closing minutes of the fourth quarter.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smith couldn’t hit the broadside of a barn from the field, but he managed to contribute in other areas. He blocked 5 shots, had 6 assists, and pulled down 6 rebounds. He scored 7 points on 2-12 shooting, but didn’t play the entire 4th quarter despite his important defensive presence. Drew mentioned that Smith was injured, but I get the feeling that LD wasn’t itching to plug him back in the game given his offensive struggles tonight. 5/10

Al Horford: He may have had a double-double, but he seemed timid on offense and rushed things in the post. Still, even though it looked like he struggled, he had 14 points on 6-11 shooting and also grabbed 11 rebounds. The fact that it seemed like an off night and he still played that well is a testament to how good Al is. 6.5/10

Kyle Korver: Whenever the Hawks really needed a bucket tonight, Korver was there. In Atlanta’s third quarter comeback, Korver hit the crucial three-pointer to cut the lead to 2, and then he brought the Hawks’ lead back up to 6 in the final 2 minutes with his third three-pointer of the night. When Korver hits his threes, he’s doing just what he needs to do to make the Hawks’ offense successful. 6/10

Jeff Teague: When it looked like Kyrie was taking things over, Jeff flipped the switch and brought the Hawks offense to another level. He kept things moving with his penetration, and he was feeling it from beyond the arc tonight as well. He found open teammates, played relatively strong defense, and just broke down Cleveland’s defense time and time again. It may not have been the best game of Teague’s career, but it’s certainly on the short list. He did set a new career high with 27 points.  10/10 Continue Reading…

 

 

 

RECAP: Hawks 126, Pistons 119

Bo Churney —  December 27, 2012 — 1 Comment

FINAL, 2OT

DET(9-22) 119 – 126 (17-9) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 31 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast
W. Bynum (DET): 31 pts, 4 reb, 4 asts
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Is there a such a thing as a bad win? The Hawks did have a 22 point lead in the fourth, but Will Bynum evaporated that with his 20-point fourth quarter. The two teams then went back and fourth in the overtimes, with Jeff Teague finally powering the Hawks through in the second OT period. As Larry Drew said post-game, the Hawks still have to work on their killer instinct (85 Piston bench points?) and free throws, because performances like this are going to come back and bite them at some point. They can’t afford to be outrebounded 62-47 on most nights, either.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Josh was absolutely unstoppable for the first three quarters. He several dunks, a few nice post moves, and was even hitting his jumpers. However, he didn’t do much in the last 22 minutes of the game, going 0-7 in the fourth and two OTs. He had some critical defensive plays, including a probable goaltend on Will Bynum that wasn’t called. His did have some key passes in that stretch, but he could have easily had 40 in this one. 8/10

Al Horford: Horford had a quiet 22 and 10, but the loudest thing he did was missing key free throws late in the game. This game actually could have been over in regulation if Horford had hit a free throw when there was only a second left. Drummond also destroyed him on the boards. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Can’t be 2-11 on shots when most of the looks you are getting are wide-open. In fact, I’m pretty sure Tayshaun Prince was taken out of the game in the first quarter because of how many easy looks Kyle was getting. 2/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff’s performance in that second overtime is why the Hawks won this game, but he needs to stay aggressive the whole game on offense. I like the 17 points and 11 assists, but he became passive in that fourth quarter that saw the Hawks get outscored by a margin of 39-20. Oh, and he couldn’t stay in front of Will Bynum. Whoops. 6/10 Continue Reading…

For the second straight game, Larry Drew will start Atlanta-native Lou Williams at shooting guard. Williams started at guard against the Bulls on Saturday, which was Lou’s first start since 2010 with Philly.

Drew’s main reason for starting Lou again is the same reason that he uses for most things: energy. LD was impressed with how Williams played with Jeff Teague, and was impressed with the way his team rebounded even with a small lineup. Lou starts represent a promise that Drew says he made with the guard during the offseason, saying that he told Lou that he would not be pigeonholed into a purely bench role.

Drew also noted that the things that he sees with the Williams/Teague backcourt are the same that he sees with Devin Harris and Teague. Harris, however, will be a game-time decision.

The complete lineup will be Teague, Williams, Korver, Smith, and Horford. Detroit will likely start Knight, Singler, Prince, Maxiell, and Monroe.

A Merry Hawksmas

Bo Churney —  December 24, 2012 — 1 Comment

Family Opening Christmas Presents

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me… 12 gifts for the Hawks family!

So, on this merry holiday, what does Santa need to bring the Hawks the most? I give Mr. Claus 12 suggestions for what the guys may need.

  • Josh Smith: a 9-iron. A great club for perfecting that pesky mid-range game!
  • Zaza Pachulia: Mueller’s Stickum Spray! Because we’ve all seen how skilled Z is at catching the ball! I’m pretty sure the San Diego Chargers could lend him some…
  • DeShawn Stevenson: Abraham Lincoln: Vampire hunter on Blu-ray. Because I feel DeShawn needs to acquaint himself more with fictional tales of the man whose image occupies a large amount of his neck.MV5BNjY2Mzc0MDA4NV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwOTg5OTcxNw@@._V1._SY317_
  • Devin Harris: Icy-Hot, mainly because it would be nice for him to get back in the lineup, instead of being injured and on the bench.
  • Jeff Teague: Candy and sweets. Why? Have you ever looked at the food pyramid? Guess what’s on the top tier…
  • Ivan Johnson: The Giant Book of Poetry, as collected by William Roetzheim. I mean, we’re all aware that Ivan’s thoughts are just waxing poetic, right?
  • Kyle Korver: A coupon for a chiropractor visit. Your threes are too pretty, Kyle, don’t let back spasms ruin it for the rest of us. (yes, I’m selfish)
  • John Jenkins: A watch, because that’s about the only way he’s going to get any time! (I’ll get out)
  • Al Horford: Caffeine, because STOP HESITATING ON WIDE-OPEN JUMPERS, DAMMIT!
  • Lou Williams: A silver medal, so he can match his unimpressed-buddy McKayla Maroney. “Light”, Lou? You make the top play of the night, and you have the audacity to swag it off as “light”?
  • Anthony Tolliver: A clipboard. Well, let’s face it, maybe this whole “playing” thing isn’t working out for Tolliver… (HE’S SHOOTING 26%!)
  • Larry Drew: I don’t know why, but LD strikes me as a re-gifter. So I’m sure he’s going to go to sleep on Christmas Eve, dreaming something like this:

 


 
You know Larry wants to give the gift of 5-hour energy to the team. Make it happen, Santa!

Merry Christmas and happy holidays to all!

 

 

 

RECAP: Hawks 92, Bulls 75

Bo Churney —  December 22, 2012 — Leave a comment

FINAL

CHI(15-11) 75 – 92 (16-9) ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 20 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast
L. Deng (CHI): 11 pts, 2 reb, 3 asts
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Larry Drew might be on to something with that energy thing. After a more than sluggish first quarter, the Hawks started torching the Bulls, running away with a 36-16 2nd quarter that was sparked with threes and lobs. Lou Williams’ first start since 2010 was a good one, which brings in an interesting question: should Lou stay in the starting lineup?

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Josh picked up after his less than great three-quarter finish in Philly, finishing with 12-5-4, with those four assists including a sweet pass to Lou Williams in the second quarter in the middle of a 25-6 run. Obviously, it wasn’t one of Josh’s better games, but his energy and defense were much improved. 7/10

Al Horford: Al continues his streak of killing Joakim Noah, putting up a 20-10 against his former teammate. Noah also had six turnovers and only one assist, a lot of which was a function of Al, Josh, Korver, and Zaza. His jumper looked a lot smoother in this one and he wasn’t appearing hesitant to take it. Definitely a great game to emerge from the slump that he had been in. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Korver continues his impressive effort, and he killed his former team in the second quarter, putting up three threes in the middle of that killer stretch. What Kyle lacks in one-on-one defense, he makes up for in team defense, as his activity on double-teams his probably more impressive than anyone else on this team. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Teague’s intensity in the first is what kept the Hawks going for that quarter. (which was really awful, by the way; don’t rewatch it) He finished with eight assists and even got some time playing against his little brother. (which, of course, Jeff won) 7/10 Continue Reading…