Archives For November 2013

RECAP: Hawks 88, Mavs 87

Bo Churney —  November 30, 2013

FINAL

DAL(10-7) 87 – 88 (9-8) ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 25 pts, 1 reb, 6 ast
S. Marion (DAL): 15 pts, 12 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were down by as many as 17 in the third quarter and appeared to be heading for their fourth consecutive loss. However, in the fourth quarter, Jeff Teague led the offense, and Al Horford and Paul Millsap anchored the defense to allow the Hawks back in the game. With 1:16 left, Millsap hit a three to bring the Maverick lead down to 87-86, and Horford hit a 19′ jumper with 4.2 seconds left to secure the Hawks a win. The Mavericks did lose Jose Calderon in this game, which surely affected it, but Monta Ellis will likely be left kicking himself after this one, as his seven turnovers are a big stat that jumps out to where the Mavericks could have won.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Four turnovers in the fourth quarter from Al nearly kept the Hawks from coming back. Of course, Horford did hit the game-winner, which helps redeem his six total turnovers on the game. As stated in the opener, Horford’s activity on defense is what helped the Hawks limit the Mavs to 3-for-19 shooting in the fourth quarter. In total, Horford had 17 points, 12 rebounds, and two assists for the game. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff had his fourth 20-point game of the season with a 25 point effort tonight. 15 of those points came in the second half, as Teague got to the free throw line a total of 11 times in the 24 minutes span. Teague wasn’t a defensive negative in the second half, but he was in the first, as his going under of screens on Jose Calderon allowed Calderon to open up with 4-for-5 shooting from behind the arc. Other than that, good game from Teague, who was a team-high plus-11 on the night. 8/10

Paul Millsap: Good all-around night from Millsap, who had four assists and six rebounds to go with his 15 points. His defense was solid on Dirk when he was forced to guard the German in one-on-one situations. On his clutch three-point with a minute to go: “Jeff threw me the ball, I just felt it and shot it. othing spectacular, I just threw it up to the basket and it went in for me. It was early in the shot clock, I better have made it.” 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre just fell short of his second career double-double, only scoring nine points (which were all in the third quarter) to go with his ten rebounds. He was as active as always, going hard at the basket to on cuts and rebound opportunities. His jumper still annoys me sometimes, but eh, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. 6.5/10

Lou Williams: Restrictions on playing time are coming off one-by-one for Lou. In his first start in his return, he played 25 minutes and scored 12 points to go with two rebounds and two assists. He had a very nice floater in the third quarter and is showing some more will to venture into the lane on offense. 7/10 Continue Reading…

Budding Sets: Wheel Variation

Cole Patty —  November 29, 2013

The Spurs run a set they call Loop, where Tony Parker runs around two screens on the baseline. He curls around the second, and receives the ball with position to drive. The Hawks actually ran this exact set in last night’s game with Teague, but Jeff isn’t always the player on the baseline looking to get freed up. A variation of the Loop is a set the Rockets ran successfully last year called Wheel. In this set, a less able dribble — but bigger spot-up threat — goes baseline around the two screens but steps out beyond the three point line. If executed right, the team gets an open three for one of there biggest threats from downtown.

But, Budenholzer knows his players well already. He knows that he can tinker with these sets to accentuate the nontraditional bigs of the Hawks. In Houston, both the baseline screeners were bigmen. In Atlanta, there is only one screen Kyle gets around, as the second baseline player is DeMarre Carroll. Carroll instead of screening, cuts the opposite way. Instead of the defender having to choose to get out on the three point line or stop an immobile screener, it becomes a matter of knowing they could get beat by a matter of seconds in two opposite directions. As long as Horford’s screen is executed right, it becomes a matter of pick your poison.

Both these clips end in a miss unfortunately, but any team in the league would have Kyle Korver shoot open threes all day. He’s shooting 51,6% on threes total, and surely some of his misses have came on covered looks. Everyone knows this guy is deadly, so process takes a little precedence over result. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Rockets 113, Hawks LOL

Bo Churney —  November 28, 2013

FINAL

HOU(11-5) 113 – 84 (8-8) ATL    

Key Performers:
A. Brooks (HOU): 21 pts, 2 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
A. Horford (ATL): 14 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Rockets were without James Harden, and then Jeremy Lin after he left the game in the first quarter due to injury. Didn’t matter, as the Rockets routed the Hawks with a barrage of three-pointers. Aaron Brook and Francisco Garcia each scored 21 off of the bench, and Houston scored 36 points in the fourth quarter to close the game out. The Hawks may have been without Kyle Korver, Lou Williams, and Shelvin Mack, but losing by 29 to a Rockets team that was playing without Harden and Lin isn’t an ideal result. I guess this does help show how important Korver’s spacing is to this team. The Hawks have now lost three straight games.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Al did his best on Dwight Howard, and the Rockets big man only had 11 points and eight rebounds. However, Horford didn’t do too much on the offensive end, scoring 14 points on 14 shots, many of which were wide open jumpers that he needs to be hitting at a better clip. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Not a good night for Teague. He was killed defensively, and his offense just wasn’t there. He was 0-for-5 from the field in the first quarter, and he didn’t take a shot after that point. He did have six assists and probably should have had a few more, but he definitely wasn’t able to attack the rim as effectively with Howard and Asik manning the paint for the Rockets. 5/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap was battling foul trouble for some of the night, but when he was in, he was doing his best to take advantage of Terrence Jones and Omri Casspi. Millsap had 16 points on just 10 shots and he was dominating on the block. He did have a few head-scratching turnovers in this game, but he was definitely the most effect Hawk on offense. 6.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: 2-for-8 from the field is not what you want from DeMarre. The Hawks have weirdly been running pick-and-rolls for DeMarre lately, and it’s effective sometimes… but a lot of times it is ending up with DeMarre taking weird looking floaters in the lane, which is really a shot I only want Jeff Teague or Lou Williams to take. 4/10

Cartier Martin: Starting in Kyle’s place, Cartier was actually effective in being the team’s go-to three-point shooter. Cartier scored 14 points, including 4-for-7 from behind the arc. Defensively, he was… you know what, everyone was awful defensively. Just assume that for each following player unless I note otherwise. 7/10 Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks announced at 1:22 PM today that Kyle Korver, Shelvin Mack, and Lou Williams did not travel to Houston for tonight’s game. Williams doesn’t come as a big shock, as he played a season high 24 minutes last night in his return from ACL surgery. Mack also wasn’t too outrageous either when he had to leave the Magic game early with an ankle sprain. The Korver news comes as a bit of a surprise however, after playing 31 minutes last night. This rib contusion will delay Kyle’s streak for the time being, and will leave him stuck at 88. As for the game tonight, Dennis Schröder, Cartier Martin, and John Jenkins will likely have expanded roles against the Rockets.

RECAP: Celtics 94, Hawks 87

Raj Prashad —  November 24, 2013

FINAL

BOS(5-10) 94 – 87 (8-6) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Teague (ATL): 13 pts, 4 reb, 10 ast, 3 stl
J. Crawford (BOS): 24 pts, 3 reb, 10 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Atlanta let one slip away when the Boston Celtics outscored the Hawks 30-13, including a 22-4 run, in the fourth quarter to continue the home team’s win-two, lose-one streak. After a fairly even first half, Atlanta stormed out to a 10-point lead to close the third frame. The Hawks saw their lead disappear as their starters sat for the first half of the fourth quarter, and by the time they saw the floor again, Boston’s unit had built enough steam to run away with the streak-snapping win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: On a night when Horford scored a team-high 18 points on 19 shots and grabbed just seven rebounds, he simply couldn’t do enough to close the game out in the fourth. Boston went with “big” lineups for most of the night, forcing Jared Sullinger or Brandon Bass to match up with Big Al. The continuous physical matchup in the paint seemed to wear down Atlanta’s center over the night and frustrated him with three of his attempts blocked at the rim (two from Sullinger and one from Vitor Faverani). 7/10

Jeff Teague: He forced Jordan Crawford into jump shots until the fourth quarter, but couldn’t get anything going on the offensive end, shooting 3-for-15 on the night. It was a struggle, but Teague tried to get his teammates going by dishing out 10 assists, but his inability to stop Crawford from driving the lane or get any offense going in crunchtime adds to his frustrating night.  7/10

Paul Millsap: The power forward was a stat-filler Saturday night, shooting 50 percent from the field for 12 points, snagging five boards, dishing two assists, two steals and two blocks. He also had a huge dunk on Jared Sullinger that will likely fight for dunk of the year and a chasedown block of Avery Bradley. Millsap also finished with three turnovers and four fouls with the worst +/- on the team (-18). It was one of the glass half full type of nights for the big man. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: You have to love the new and improved camera man, DeMarre Carroll’s play and energy. He was all over the floor, harassing Jeff Green and diving for loose balls. He was a mess on offense though and couldn’t find any semblance of his shooting stroke. 6/10

Kyle Korver: 87 games and we’re still going strong with the streak. Catch-and-Korver is how he’ll be known to me from now on. He had a strong offensive night, scoring nine points, grabbing four boards, three assists and two steals. He couldn’t hold Avery Bradley, who ran through screens and did his best Korver impression from mid-range. 8/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 96, Pistons 89

Bo Churney —  November 23, 2013

FINAL

DET(4-8) 89 – 96 (8-5)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 18 pts, 6 reb, 9 ast, 2 stl, 1 blk
A. Drummond (DET): 15 pts, 16 reb, 2 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks swept the home-and-home series against the Pistons, winning Friday night by a score of 96-89. The Hawks were really in control for the entire game, even though the Pistons led for a brief period of time in the fourth quarter. Jeff Teague had another masterful night running the offense and Al Horford got his double-double steelo back by recording 17 points and 11 boards. Josh Smith had another awful game for the Pistons, as he went 0-for-7 from the field with zero points off the bench. With this win, the Hawks are currently the third seed in the Eastern Conference.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: After going eight straight games without double-digit rebounds, Al grabbed 11 on Friday night to end that streak. Al had the highest plus-minus rating on the night, registering a plus-14. He was great defensively and his offense was equally impressive, as his and Teague’s running of the pick-and-roll was a large part of the Atlanta offense, even if the stats didn’t show up for Al in the box score. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Jennings did rack up 14 assists, but Jeff was definitely better on defense on Friday than he was in Wednesday’s matchup; Jennings was 4-for-16 from the field. On offense, Jeff was masterful once again, putting up 18 points, six rebounds, and nine assists. At this point in the season, it’s really hard to say there are a lot of point guards out there that are better than running an offense than Jeff Teague. Oh, and he had an amazing chase-down block on Brandon Jennings, but I can’t seem to find a good video of that. 9/10

Paul Millsap: When was the last time Millsap led the team in minutes? Well, he got 34 on the night and produced 14 points and seven rebounds. Otherwise, I’m not really sure what else to say about him… his production was solid, but very quiet. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre was all over the place in the fourth quarter. In that quarter alone, he had nine points, three offensive rebounds, and three steals. When the Pistons got ahead for a moment in the fourth, it was really DeMarre’s activity on both ends of the floor that allowed the Hawks to pull back ahead and stay ahead. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Something something streak, something something 86 games. Kyle was hot on the night, hitting four of his six attempts from beyond the arc. Korver scored 14 points in the game and his true-shooting percentage is up to 72.6%, which leads all qualified NBA players. 8/10 Continue Reading…

Now 12 games into the 2013-14 NBA season, the Atlanta Hawks stand at a solid 7-5 record for a brand new team from top to bottom. Fans and media alike could only assume what we’d see from a Hawks squad with only six returning players and a new head coach as the season drew closer, but now we have a small – but actual – sampling to grasp this team’s developing identity. Here’s ten things we’ve learned so far.

BUDMOVEMENT is real:

The Hawks are second in the league in assist-to-FG ratio, with 308 assists to 460 field goals made. Ball movement was something this team severely lacked for years, dating back to the isolation-heavy Mike Woodson era. The amount of passing that went into every offensive possession was a quick pick-up by those watching the Hawks preseason contests, and it’s carried over to the regular season flawlessly. Surprisingly, Atlanta has also managed to rank 11th in the league in lowest turnover rate, an impressive feat with how much the ball moves.

Games are won in the second half:

A common trend in the Hawks first twelve games has been the team treading closely with their opponent or even trailing behind early in games, only to blow them away in the latter portion of the contest. The statistics back this up, with the team’s NetRTG being far lower in the first and second quarter compared to the third and fourth quarters. This explains how Atlanta has played in four games finishing with a score margin of five or less. There is no cause for alarm though, with very strong teams such as the Indiana Pacers sharing this trait.

Little is set in stone:

Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 93, Pistons 85

Bo Churney —  November 21, 2013

FINAL

DET(4-7) 85 – 93 (7-5)ATL

Key Performers:
D. Carroll (ATL): 11 pts, 12 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
B. Jennings (DET): 21 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

This isn’t the place to talk about Josh Smith’s return to Atlanta; you can see that here.

The Hawks used a 50-39 second half score to beat the Pistons in the first of their four matchups this season. Despite the victory, the Hawks had a lot of holes, turning the ball over 21 times and allowing the Pistons to get 15 offensive rebounds. The Hawks did control the paint on the offensive end, however, by getting to the free throw line 24 times. In true Hawk fashion, they only made 70% of those free throws.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Odd game from Horford in this one. He only took seven shots, but the Hawks were able to use his masterful defensive performance to carry them over the top. Horford had five blocked shots on the night, and he was a menace for Detroit’s pick-and-roll attack. That being said, I’d still prefer him to be taking more than seven shots in a game. 7.5/10

Jeff Teague: Five turnovers from Teague, but that was a team issue tonight more than it was a Jeff issue. Otherwise, Teague was great at running the offense, finishing the game with 18 points and seven assists. Defensively, he was a bit of a mess tonight, as he let Brandon Jennings get away from him way too often. 6/10

Paul Millsap: Good to see Paul back in the starting lineup after sitting out the Miami game. Millsap did well, scoring 19 points on 8-for-14 shooting. That was about it, as he only played 28 minutes on the night. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre might have been the best player on the floor for the Hawks in last night’s game. He did very well at limiting Josh Smith’s opportunities in the paint, grabbed a career-high 12 rebounds, and even added 11 points, three assists, two blocks, and two steals. Great job by DeMarre to fill up the stat sheet. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Speaking of stat sheets, the way Kyle is filling up the box score so far this season is pretty impressive. On the season, Kyle is averaging over 12 points, four rebounds, almost three assists, and a steal and a block. Oh, and he’s shooting over 50% on threes and has a three-point streak of 85 games. 6/10 Continue Reading…

Note: Budding Sets will be a new recurring feature. Here at HawksHoop, we are excited about the future under coach Mike Budenholzer, and some of that excitement is the offensive creativity that Bud brings. So, as we go along the season, there will be some light shed on the fun sets that the Hawks run.

Kyle Korver has been masterful when it comes off-ball movement, and Mike Budenholzer worked for a very longtime under the Gregg Popovich. So naturally, when the two united, the imagination flowed with wondrous thoughts of what they could bring together.

It’s early, but there is one set so far that has been used with a decent amount of frequency. It stems from a set the Spurs ran last season called Thru UCLA Second Side — thank you How U — and adds a little variation by taking advantage of Horford’s passing abilities.

The set starts off by Teague feeding Kyle the ball to one of the wings. Jeff immediately clears out to the opposite side in order to retain spacing, while Al starts setting up in position in either the post or low block. When Horford’s ready, Kyle feeds him the ball and starts to move towards Paul Millsap. Millsap — who started off in a high position — comes down and screens for Korver, and this is where the decision is made by Kyle. It is important to recognize DeMarre Carroll clearing out from the right side, towards the left corner. Without this cut, Kyle is stuck into one direction of the play instead of reading what the defense gives him. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Heat 104, Hawks 88

Chris Barnewall —  November 20, 2013

FINAL

MIA(8-3) 104 – 88 (6-5)ATL   

Key Performers:
C. Bosh (MIA): 19 pts, 5 reb
M. Scott (ATL): 15 pts, 10 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks kept it close for awhile and gave the Heat a run for their money but they couldn’t hold on forever. A huge game out of Chris Bosh, some momentum changing 3’s by Mario Chalmers, and turnovers is what did the Hawks in tonight.

For most of the game the Hawks were keeping the game close. They were running up and down the court, keeping pace with a Heat team that has one of the most efficient offenses in the NBA. There was one player they couldn’t keep up with however and that was Chris Bosh. Bosh torched the team with 19 points and 5 rebounds. He was all over the court, topping it off with a highlight dive into the stands as he chased a loose ball.

Midway through the 3rd quarter there was a stretch in the game where the ball was bouncing all over the place, the Hawks couldn’t hold on to the ball. The Hawks let the Heat get out into transition and that will almost certainly destroy any hopes a team has at winning against them. The player to make the Hawks pay? None other than Mario Chalmers. Chalmers scored nine straight points and from that point on, the Heat never looked back.

The reason this stretch was allowed to happen was because the Heat covered the ball in butter. Okay actually it was cause the Hawks were rushing and looked completely out of synch. The ball was flying everywhere except to teammates. By the time they stopped themselves it was too late, the Heat were comfortably ahead. The Hawks could have survived Bosh’s monster game and Chalmers 3’s; they couldn’t survive the turnovers.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford started at the power forward position tonight next to Ayon. He had an okay game on offense going 5/9 with 12 points. He didn’t get to the free throw line very often but I’ll give credit to the Heat where it’s due. They did a good job of not fouling him. My main complaint with Horford was the turnovers. He had 7 of them, 6 in the 1st half. A usually low turnover guy it was really weird seeing him turn the ball over as much as he did. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had a rough game shooting wise going 4-for-13 and looking very uncomfortable when trying to score. He had a moment early in the game where he drove straight to the basket with a Heat defender just waiting for him, his shot was rejected. His defense was also very shaky tonight with some bad fouls and confusion. He managed to keep the offense into a system at least as he had 7 assists and kept the ball moving. 5/10

Gustavo Ayon: Starting in place of the injured Paul Millsap, Ayon didn’t have too bad a game. He had some defensive issues whenever he ended up on Bosh and that cost the Hawks plenty of times. Besides that though he had an okay game. Didn’t make a huge impact, but didn’t hurt the team outside of when he was guarding Bosh. 6/10

DeMarre Carroll: Another solid game for Carroll. His 3 point shooting is becoming more of a threat as he shot 2-for-3 from three point land tonight. His defense was solid as always. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Every shot Korver took was a 3 as he did his best to try and exploit the Heat’s perimeter defense. Unfortunately for him, the Heat did a pretty good job of making him work for every shot. He had two steals and had his usual solid help D. The streak is 84 now, which Korver got out of the way early having it be the Hawks first points of the game. 8/10 Continue Reading…