Archives For January 2013

RECAP: Hawks 104, Bobcats 92

Bo Churney —  January 24, 2013

FINAL

CHA (10-32) 92 – 104 (24-18)ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 30 pts, 13 reb, 8 ast, 3 blk
R. Sessions (CHA): 27 pts, 3 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

No Horford, Zaza, or Devin Harris? No problem for the Hawks against the Bobcats. With Charlotte lacking a competent frontcourt, Josh went to town, posting a near monster triple-double, earning him ESPN’s top player performance of the night. Despite some turnover issues, the Hawks got a lot of open looks, sinking 12 three-pointers and racking up 31 assists. Even though Charlotte is pretty terrible, the Hawks can take a lot from this game in that they won handily without several key players. Hopefully those players missing this game can mean they can come out at full strength against Boston on Friday.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: This was one of Josh’s best games of the season, as you can see from his statline above. He did have seven turnovers, but quite a few of those were team mistakes/mis-communications. He took a lot of jumper (nine of them to be exact), but 16 shots in the paint with Smoove showing extreme patience on a lot of post ups? Sign me up! 10/10

Ivan Johnson: Ivan got his first career start in this game, and he didn’t disappoint. He had ten rebounds by halftime, and finished with a strong double-double of 12 and 15. Among his highlights from his first start: he took three charges and had an amazing block on Bismack Biyombo. 8/10

DeShawn Stevenson: Maybe DeShawn should have sat this one out… his jumper was off badly, and he drove into the lane one time in the 2nd quarter only to have the life swatted out of him by Biyombo. (I love saying that name… Biyombo!) 2/10

Kyle Korver: The Bobcats had this strategy of leaving Kyle Korver open; it wasn’t very effective. Kyle had 21 points on only 11 shots, including a 5-6 performance from behind the arc. The Hawks just kept setting up screens and pindowns for him, and he wasn’t missing. 9/10

Jeff Teague: When Jeff wasn’t letting Sessions blow by him, he was relatively quiet. On the offensive end, this didn’t hurt, because a lot of possessions were Smoove post ups that either turned into Josh shooting, or into a flurry of ball movement that resulted in him not getting direct assists. 6/10 Continue Reading…

In Atlanta’s tilt Wednesday night against the Charlotte Bobcats, the Hawks will be a bit short-handed along their front line.

With Horford and Pachulia out, Ivan Johnson will make his first career start at center and DeShawn Stevenson will return to the starting lineup after missing the last three games.

Devin Harris also returns to the floor after suffering a vicious ankle injury in the third quarter of Saturday’s contest against the San Antonio Spurs. Harris returned to practice Tuesday after missing the game Monday versus the Minnesota Timberwolves.

The game tips off at 7:00 pm ET from Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, NC.

The Hawks slipped to No. 20 on the ESPN Power Rankings thanks to a dreadful week in which they won one out of four games.

Hawks Power Rankings 01/21/13

Atlanta had a tough stretch for sure, facing off against the Chicago Bulls, Brooklyn Nets (twice) and San Antonio Spurs.

The Hawks had a historically bad game against the Bulls, scoring just 58 points for one of the worst modern-day outputs in their history.

The Hawks bounced back in Joe Johnson’s return to Atlanta, but the very next night in Brooklyn, Atlanta suffered possibly their worst loss of the season when Lou Williams went down with torn ligaments in his right knee.

The vicious week ended with a loss to the San Antonio Spurs (without Tim Duncan or Manu Ginobili) as Atlanta lost another guard– Devin Harris due to an ankle injury.

With Monday’s win against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and the return of Jannero Pargo, perhaps the Hawks can start their resurgence to the top of the Eastern Conference?

RECAP: Hawks 104, Wolves 96

Bo Churney —  January 21, 2013

FINAL

MIN (17-21) 96 – 104 (23-18)ATL

Key Performers:

A. Horford (ATL): 28 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast, 3 blk
J. Barea (MIN): 14 pts, 3 reb, 7 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Who needs a guaranteed contract? Freshly signed off his 10-day contract, Jannero Pargo lit up the Timberwolves in the fourth quarter, sparking a Hawks comeback behind his 14 points in the final frame. Al Horford also got some shots up, finishing with 28 points and 10 rebounds. When asked about his newest teammate, Horford said, “It’s a relief to be able to have a guy like that… He was a great teammate last year, and I’m happy to have him back.” This win improves the Hawks to 14-7 at home, and 23-18 overall. The Wolves, meanwhile, have dropped six of seven, and are dealing with even worse injury issues than the Hawks.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smoove struggled in the first half, but was extremely helpful in the 2nd. He keyed the team’s improved defensive effort, and help force Kirilenko into six turnovers. On offense, he played Horford’s complement, dishing several great passes to Al late in the game, and focused on taking good shots. Five turnovers is no bueno, though. 7.5/10

Al Horford: With Pekovic out of the lineup, Horford absolutely dominated. Stiemsma was able to frustrate him a bit in the first half, but Al kept taking the best looks, and was extremely aggressive on his post moves. His 21st double-double on the year ties him for sixth in the NBA. 10/10

Jannero Pargo: Pargosanity!! Signed only hours before the game, Jannero delivered in the absence of Devin and Lou, scoring 16 points, and shooting 4-5 from behind the arc. Jannero seemed extremely happy to be back in a Hawks uniform, and it looks like his teammates had the same sentiment. Besides his 16 points and four assists, Pargo also committed zero turnovers, sparking the quip, “I want to come in and not hurt my team.” Well, Jannero, you did that… and then some. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Korver was to the third quarter as what Pargo was to the fourth. He scored 14 points in the third, six of which were back-to-back threes early in the period that got the Hawks back to within four after being down 14 at halftime. He did have a hard time defensively at time, as he was guarding Barea and Ridnour a lot, which doesn’t play into his strength as an off-ball defender. 8/10

Jeff Teague: JT didn’t take a shot in the 2nd half, which was probably for the best; he was 2-7 in the first, and really was having trouble finishing in the lane. However, he did hit some great passes, and finished the game with 10 assists to lead the team. Like Josh though, he also had five turnovers. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

Because the Hawks no longer have the once comfortable depth at guard, the team signed Jannero Pargo to a ten-day contract earlier today. He will be available to play against the Wolves.

Pargo was with the Wizards earlier this year, but was cut after he played pretty badly for them. However, Pargo did have one of his best seasons last year with Atlanta, posting a TS% of .535 and averaging over five points and two assists in about 13 minutes per game.

RECAP: Spurs 98, Hawks 93

Raj Prashad —  January 20, 2013

FINAL

SAS (32-11) 98 – 93 (22-18)ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 21 pts, 8 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl
T. Parker (SAS): 23 pts, 4 reb, 12 ast, 1 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

With news breaking before the game that Lou Williams would be out for the season with ligament damage to his right knee, Atlanta knew it would be playing with their back against the wall Saturday night versus the Spurs. Despite Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili resting, Tony Parker still had a huge night for the Spurs as the San Antonio reserves made life difficult for the Hawks. The Spurs led by 10 at the half, and coasted to a five-point victory, sending Atlanta into their eighth loss in their last 10 games.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: It was a tough night for the power forward. Josh Smith held only one rebound at the half and went through the motions throughout the game, unable to take advantage of his speed in transition or size in the post. Smith took over the second half though, with 13 points and seven rebounds as Atlanta fought to stay in the game. He wasn’t bad defensively, either, with most of the opposition’s points against him coming on bad rotations or slow close-outs. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Evidently the Spurs had no idea Korver shot three-pointers. For the 34-consecutive game, the forward hit a three-point shot. He connected on five treys, with all of them coming on either kick-outs or catch-and-shoots. Korver also played big on the boards, grabbing nine rebounds and played pretty solid help defense throughout the night. 8/10

Devin Harris: Devin started pretty slow, scoring only one point and dishing one assist at the half. But in the third quarter, he was supremely aggressive against the Parker and the Spurs, scoring 12 points to keep the Hawks close. He also sprained his right ankle yet again, meaning Atlanta is down to one healthy point guard on the roster. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was pretty solid for most of the night on both ends of the court, but faltered on the offensive end when it counted. He missed four-consecutive shots that could have been a seven-point swing and truly the difference in the final score. A missed jumper can be accounted for, but Teague would go on to get blocked at the rim, miss an open layup and miss an open three. As he mentioned in post game, Teague will have to be more aggressive moving forward without much depth at the position. 7/10

Zaza Pachulia: Coach Drew got his money’s worth with Zaza’s performance yet again. Pachulia grabbed nine rebounds, crashed in the paint and did just enough to get by on the offensive end. 6/10 Continue Reading…

Doctors confirmed earlier today that the injury in Lou Williams right knee is a torn ACL. He will miss the rest of the regular season.

Lou had become a great spark plug for the Hawks in his first year here, averaging over 14 points per game (mostly off the bench) on a career-high 3PT%. The injury will be a huge blow to the team, as Lou was 3rd in points and assists.

In his absence, the Hawks will likely rely on John Jenkins and Anthony Morrow, the latter being whenever A-Mo returns from his litany of injuries.

In other news, the Hawks starting lineup for tonight will be Teague, Korver, Smith, Horford, and Pachulia. Devin Harris will come off the bench to serve as the 2nd team’s primary ball-handler. DeShawn Stevenson is out after receiving a cortisone injection in his knee on before the game against Brooklyn. Horford will have no minutes limit after missing yesterday’s game.

For the Spurs, Manu Ginobili is out with a hamstring injury. Duncan is also being held out for rest.

RECAP: Hawks 89, Nets 94

Daniel Christian —  January 19, 2013

FINAL

BKN.gif (24-16) 94 – 89 (22-17)ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 21 pts, 10 ast, 1 blk
D. Williams (BKN): 24 pts, 2 reb, 7 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

It would have been nice to win two consecutive games against Joe and the Nets, but it wasn’t in the cards tonight, especially with Al Horford out and Lou Williams suffering a knee injury in the second quarter. It was a tied game through the end of three quarters, but the Nets jumped out to a late lead on the hobbled Hawks. Atlanta responded and almost came back to knock off Brooklyn, but some late Deron Williams free throws served as a collective dagger.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Smoove had a relatively quiet night up until the fourth quarter. He was fine on defense, but he just never seemed to have a real impact until he came alive in the fourth quarter. The best part of him coming alive, however, was his incredible dunk on Brook Lopez, who for some reason thought it would be wise to challenge Smoove a the rim in transition. That dunk cut the Nets’ lead to one with under a minute to go in the game– nothing like a clutch dunk– but the Nets were able to close it out after that.

Kyle Korver: The streak is up to 33 games. Korver has made a 3-pointer in, once again, 33 consecutive games. That’s pretty impressive. And his shooting tonight was impressive, again, as well. He was 3-4 from beyond the arc and provided a nice boost in the first quarter which allowed the Hawks to open up the game strong. He did some other little things well too. He set a nice screen, moved well without the ball (obviously), and made some nice passes (4 assists). 6.5/10

Devin Harris: Devin started the game on Joe Johnson, and Joe scored the first bucket of the night. Devin then picked up two early fouls and did had to sit the rest of the first quarter. Joe knows how to use his body to his advantage, and he beat Harris a few times. Still, Harris was strong on the other end of the floor, again providing a huge boost with 17 points and 3 assists. I seriously underrated his three-point shooting when he was signed this summer. He made three of them last night, and when he’s open, it seems automatic. 7/10

Jeff Teague: It’s the second time this season that Teague has had back to back double-doubles. He came out and attacked early, getting into the lane and making his floater, as well as finding some teammates for easy baskets. Most of his work seemed to be early, though. He finished the first quarter with 9 points and 5 assists, so that’s pretty much half of his production right there. He was still solid the rest of the night, but he didn’t shoot as well as he did early. Still, 21 points and 10 assists, you can’t complain about the production. 8/10

Zaza Pachulia: Zaza’s offensive impact was minimal, but he again played solid defense and pulled down 6 boards in 25 minutes. Sometimes there just isn’t too much to say about Zaza. It was just one of those nights where the box score might not show anything impressive, but the overall effort was still noteworthy. 5/10 Continue Reading…

collins

 

“Never Trust the Hawks”

That phrase has been, more or less, my programmed response to every unexplainable Hawks collapse or ascension over the past decade. I use it to describe the indescribable, to substantiate the unsubstantial. The Hawks are, after all, the epitome of a paradox. There is no sense to them, and if history has taught us anything, there never will be. The personification of untrustworthiness, the Hawks always seem like they are somewhere lost in the wind, somewhere helplessly floating between terrible and mediocre, somewhere drifting into the abyss known as NBA limbo—where mediocrity dwellers sit, middled-out in conference play, just waiting to bottom-out, only to middle-out once again.

This has been my life as a Hawks fan, blogger, and analyst. This is why I’ve fully endorsed the “Never Trust the Hawks” DDL movement. It’s why I’m never satisfied with this team, why I can’t be satisfied with this team, until there is something to trust— and I don’t have the exact qualifications for what is to be deemed trustworthy.

I’m aware that I’ll probably never get around to a significant point while writing this, but I need to write it anyway. I need to rant, to ramble, to just explain where I’m coming from with whatever I’m trying to say. I need to write this, and I don’t even know what it’s about. But still, it needs to be done.

Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 109, Nets 95

Bo Churney —  January 17, 2013

FINAL

BKN.gif (23-16) 95 – 109 (22-16)ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 28 pts, 4 reb, 11 ast
B. Lopez (BKN): 22 pts, 9 reb, 1 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Sorry for the late post. (I confounded AM with PM on the auto-post feature) Anyways, the Hawks took up the challenge of Joe Johnson returning to the A and of Josh Smith being suspended. The Hawks keyed on Joe early, trapping him aggressively and forcing the Nets into tough, late on the shot clock jumpers. The Hawks were the most committed I’ve seen them to running up the floor, and both Devin and Al said in postgame that running was an emphasis and that it’s a fun way to play. (it’s weird, they literally both provided almost the exact quote on that) Also, and I can’t stress this enough, but ZAZA ALMOST HAD A TRIPLE-DOUBLE!

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Al was quick out on the break a couple of times, but for the most part, he stuck to getting the ball to his guards and to getting in proper rebounding position on both ends of the floor. The result? Seven defensive boards, six offensive ones, and a couple of easy putbacks on the glass because of it. He did have a couple of crowd-raising dunks, but he also got crossed badly once by Deron Williams… 9/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle hit four two-pointers in this game (which might be a career-high), mostly off of curl plays that got him easy shots from about 15-18 feet away. On the defensive end, he was able to help harass Joe, and was even able to aptly defend Joe in one-on-one situations. He was a big part of Joe’s bad shooting night. 8/10

Devin Harris: Some people might have forgotten, but Devin was also playing against a former team as well. (he played for the Nets from 2009-2011) Devin was probably more committed to running in transition than anybody, and it looked like that mentality rubbed off on Jeff. He finished with a strong line of 18-4-5, with four steals as well. 8/10

Jeff Teague: This might have been the best game of Jeff’s career. 28 points on 12-18 shooting, 11 assists, and only two turnovers. You could tell JT had this game circled, as he had an emphatic block on Joe (which didn’t count due to a Lou-Will foul), which then led Teague to stare-down Joe for quite an extended period of time. Maybe he was just getting a couple of years of built-up frustrations out… 10/10

Zaza Pachulia: In case you missed it in my opening paragraph, ZAZA ALMOST HAD A TRIPLE-DOUBLE! He had a career-high eight assists (to go with 13 points and 11 rebounds), and was clearly working hard in this one. After the game, he joked that he would have gotten the trip-dub if guys had made shots. (hey, we only shot 58%) We also learned that Zaza has had a triple-double before… in the Georgian-leagues. 9/10 Continue Reading…