Archives For December 2013

The Hawks enter Friday’s game against the Jazz with an opportunity to get three games over .500.

While that may not sound significant, consider this: three games over .500 would give the Hawks a considerable cushion in the largely dreadful Eastern Conference. Expanding on that, five of the Hawks’ next six games — including the Jazz game — are against teams that are currently under .500. Three of those teams (Orlando, Cleveland, and Utah) have a winning percentage that is under .400. Four of these games, however, are on the road.

With all of that said, the Hawks have a good chance to cushion their hold on the third seed in the East with a relatively easy schedule to close out the 2013 calendar year. That all starts tonight against the Utah Jazz.

The Jazz are the second worst team in the NBA by record (7-21) and third worst by per game point differential (-8.4). The Jazz’s biggest weakness is their defense, where they are currently last in the NBA by allowing over 110 points per 100 possessions. (per Basketball-Reference) Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 124, Kings 107

Cole Patty —  December 18, 2013

FINAL

  SAC(7-17) 100 – 124 (14-12)ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 25 pts, 10 reb, 5 ast, 4 blk
D. Cousins (SAC): 28 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The first quarterof this game was a nice sample tasting of Atlanta’s season. Coming out of the gates with a roaring start, the Hawks were outpacing the Kings handily for the beginning nine minutes of the initial period. This lead to an 26-12 lead, and Mike Malone burning a second timeout fast. After that timeout however, things started to unravel. Isaiah Thomas got loose, and Atlanta’s offense stagnated behind three turnovers in the last two-and-a-half minutes in the quarter. At the end of the first, the Hawks fourteen point lead was reduced swiftly down to two.

For the second and third quarters, the game went back-and-forth. Atlanta pushed away every Sacramento attempt to overtake the lead in the second, until finally relinquishing it at the very end to be down 54-53 at halftime. As for the third, the ball-movement for the Hawks stagnated and they found themselves down 74-69 before closing down the gap to 87-85 at the end of the third.

The last period was all about Mike Scott hitting the two threes early and never looking back. The Kings were playing the second game of a back-to-back, and the Scott deep balls seemed to be the backbreaker. Atlanta didn’t surrender the lead the rest of the way, putting them two game over .500.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Early on, Al didn’t have his mid-range jumper going. It wasn’t too much of a detriment however, as his 25 points, 10 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocks statline lead the way for the team. He got all five of his assists in the first half, showing a resolve to help the team when he wasn’t making shots himself. He had a couple non-statsheet hustle plays to take note of too. A few rebounds he tapped back allowed for a couple extra possessions. Boogie certainly played a strong game and got some offensive rebounds himself, but that isn’t all on Horford. 8/10.

Paul Millsap: Millsap’s three ball was instrumental in the Hawks getting out to a hot start. He hit two threes at the end of that initial run, and he made one more in the second quarter. His three offensive rebounds were also key in neutralizing the strong effort the Kings made on their own offensive glass. Outside of that, it wasn’t his best game. There were a lot of moments where he tried to do too much with the ball either forcing a bad shot, a risky pass, or turning it over with a charge. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Risky passes defined Teague’s game. He tied his regular season career high with 15 assists, but with that also came six turnovers. What really stood out was his effort on the glass. Jeff being able to track down loose balls to secure possessions is what kept him valuable when he had some rough stretches. He also was nice defensively in the first quarter, and shot the ball extremely well early. A really solid night for Teague, here’s to hoping he keeps finding the 50/50 balls on long rebounds. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre guarded Rudy Gay tonight, to mixed results. Rudy went 8-13, but it isn’t all on Carroll. When in more halfcourt one-on-one situations, Gay was 4-8 outside the restricted area. Offensively, Carroll posted a strong 6-9 from the field. A pretty average game for the Junkyard Dog. 5/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle was fantastic tonight. His 8-10 mark from deep was influential on the win. A few off-ball lapses on McLemore defensively, but it was not a glaring issue tonight. 9/10. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 114, Lakers 100

Bo Churney —  December 17, 2013

FINAL

LAL(11-13) 100 – 114 (13-12)ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 19 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast
N. Young (LAL): 23 pts, 4 reb, 1 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

After slightly struggling on the boards and on defense in the first half, the Hawks completely turned up the energy in the third quarter to completely take over the game. Kyle Korver had 11 points in the quarter, and the entire team was swarming on defense and using that energy to get out in transition. Coach Mike Budenholzer said after the game, “In the third quarter, I thought out aggressiveness and our intensity on the defensive end set the tone for a good second half.” That type of focus was also shown on the offensive end, as the Hawks only had ONE turnover in the entire second half; a far cry from the 27 turnovers they had against the Knicks on Saturday.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Gasol had some good looks against Horford early, but if Horford is going to play center, this is going to be expected from seven-footers like Pau. Overall, Horford had his usual consistent night, putting up 19 points and 11 rebounds. He was particular fun to watch in transition, has he took the ball up the floor even more than usual in this game, probably because of his speed advantage over Gasol. 9/10

Paul Millsap: Good bounce back for Millsap after his struggles against the Knicks. He had more steals than turnovers tonight (four to two) and he had an extremely solid offensive night with 18 points on 13 shots. The only negative for Millsap is that he did seem to do a poor job boxing out in the first half, which was a big reason the Lakers were doing so well during that time. The problem did correct in the second half, though. 8/10

Jeff Teague: So Robby, Sekou Smith, and I were criticizing Jeff Teague before this game. Why? Because we saw his shot chart and noticed that he’s making less than 50% of his attempts at the rim, which is well below the league average. Coincidentally, another point guard that has this same problem is… Brandon Jennings. Now, scoring troubles aside, Teague did well at orchestrating the offense against the Lakers, especially in the third quarter, where he had six assists. What he did in that quarter that was so successful was partially a team effort, but Jeff made his move extremely quickly in the pick-and-roll, allowing his man to get freed up for the shot attempt. For Jeff to be successful, he has to continue to be quick, decisive, and aggressive in the PnR. 7.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: Since I’m the main force behind the “WHY IS DEMARRE DRIBBLING?” campaign, I should be the first to point out that he did not turn the ball over at all this game. He did, however, take eight shot attempts in the first half (probably not the greatest thing), one of which was a wide open floater from about three feet out that he clanked off the rim. =/ Defensively, he did very well when he was on Kobe, usually keeping the Hall of Famer from getting into the lane. 7/10

Kyle Korver: It was a rocky start for Korver, who missed four open three-point attempts in the first quarter. He did recover from that and scored all 11 of his points in the third quarter, nine of which came off of three-pointers. The streak is now at 94 games with a made three-point field goal. 7/10 Continue Reading…

The Hawks recalled 2013 first-round pick Dennis Schröder from the Bakersfield Jam today, ending his six game stint with the Hawks’ D-League affiliate. During his six game run in Bakersfield, Dennis averaged 17 points, 6.7 assists, and 4.2 rebounds. He will be available Monday night against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Meanwhile, Jared Cunningham will be sent down to make room on Atlanta’s roster. Cunningham played about four-and-a-half minutes since his first recall from the D-League, as the Hawks rotate between Dennis, Jared, and John Jenkins for who gains experience sitting on the end of the Hawks bench in games. Jared has played some point guard with Bakersfield, averaging 15 points and 4.6 assists in the five games he played with them. Either way, it seems that the the last two roster spots on the Hawks will be a different mix of the three young guards all season.

FINAL

  NYK(7-16) 111 – 106 (12-12)ATL

Key Performers:
Al Horford (ATL): 17 pts, 6 reb, 2 ast
C.Anthony (NYK): 35 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were asleep for the better part of this game. Although close at moments – even trailing by just four entering the fourth quarter – stagnant offense, lazy passes and spotty defense cost Atlanta a potential two-game winning streak against an inferior team that was blown out in their last meeting. A fourth quarter barrage by the Knicks put this game away in a flurry. The Hawks finished with a staggering 27 turnovers, just the eighth time this franchise has committed that many in a ball game since 1986.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford was one of the lone bright spots for Atlanta tonight, following up his immaculate performance against Washington with yet another strong outing. Al had 17 points and 6 boards on 7-9 shooting from the field, as well as 2 dimes. His defense was as consistent as any Hawk on this night, to the point where coach Budenholzer slid him over to guard Carmelo Anthony at times. This proved to be an unsuccessful strategy, but nobody could stop Anthony on this night. 9/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap was a mixed bag tonight, to say the least. No matter who the Knicks threw at him, Millsap dominated in the post and spotting up in transition. Millsap had 18 points on 7-9 shooting from the field along with a three and 8 boards, however he was the main culprit in Atlanta’s charity effort. Paul gave away nine turnovers to New York, leading the team, which would explain his team-worst -20 on the night. He gave solid effort on defense, however it seemed he couldn’t stop anybody – not just Melo – and he fouled out of the contest. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague might have played the worst night of basketball of his season tonight, looking absolutely out of it to the point where coach Budenholzer elected to keep Shelvin Mack in as the team’s one guard over Teague in the closing minutes. Teague had a mere four points on 6 field goal attempts, without a trip to the line. He hardly got all the way to the rim, manly because it didn’t seem like he tried to. Remarkable, considering the Knicks are abysmal at stopping opposing point guards. To add insult to injury, Teague had 4 turnovers and his defense was, well, terrible. Sheesh/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll did his usual duties on the night, defended with energy, cut to the rim for some easy scores and finished with 8 points, 3 rebounds and 3 assists. A nice thing to see was Carroll not handling the ball much on the few times Atlanta got out on the break, instead dishing off right away or finishing as the trailer on the play. This worked well, as conveyed by his 0 turnovers and 4-6 shooting. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Korver got off to a shaky start, clanking two wide-open threes in rather ugly fashion. However, when the Hawks looked like a fraction of the basketball team they normally are in the third quarter, he found great looks off the pick-and-roll and nailed 4-9 threes on the night. Yep, #KyleStreak continues. His defense was on point throughout as well. 8/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

OKC(16-4) 101 – 92 (11-11) ATL

Key Performers:
S. Mack (ATL): 17 pts, 1 reb, 6 ast
K. Durant (OKC): 30 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks weren’t expected to win this game. In fact there were many out there that were expecting a good ole fashioned blowout. At times, it looked like that’s exactly what was going to happen. Then, something happened, a layup, a defensive stop, a Shelvin Mack three (MACK ATTACK!), and the Hawks would be right back in it. The Hawks were pesky tonight, they just couldn’t pull out the win.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford has had better games. 3-for-10 from the field with 7 points is not one of them. While he managed to get 10 rebounds I really expected him to do more damage on offense considering his defensive assignments most of the night were Kendrick Perkins and Steven Adams. There were a few times where he was switched on to Ibaka but still, not a good night offensively for Horford 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had an awful start to the night scoring wise and were it not for a bounce back 3rd quarter it would have been worse. He did manage to have a decent all around game getting 6 assists, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals. Teague also managed to get to the free throw line enough to get 7 attempts and made all of them. It was nice to see Teague work hard to help in other ways when his offense wasn’t working but he struggled mightily against Westbrook. 5/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap had the highest amount of attempts for the Hawks tonight. He forced a lot and never looked comfortable. Ibaka did a great job of forcing him to work very hard if he wanted to get inside but if you’re going to shoot 18 times then you better be making them or be open. Millsap wasn’t open very often. On the positive side of things Millsap got 28 points thanks largely to getting to the line. Millsap bullied his way to the rim and got 12 free throw attempts making 11 of them. He also crashed the boards, getting 12 rebounds.  6/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll should never shoot 10 times and have 7 of them be jumpshots. In his defense, Durant played some amazing off ball defense, denying him from getting to the rim off ball (noticing a trend?). That said, the Thunder were begging Carroll to shoot from far away and he took the bait. Defense, good news Durant only made 9 of his 21 shots. Bad news, Durant had 30 points   2/10

Kyle Korver: The streak lives on, 91 games now. Unfortunately, that was his only made 3 of the night. The Thunder’s perimeter defense is really good. 4/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

       CLE(6-13) 89 – 108 (11-10) ATL

Key Performers:
A. Horford (ATL): 22 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl, 2 blk
D. Waiters (CLE): 30 pts, 2 reb, 1 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

On a night where much of the attention was focused on Kyle Korver’s streak, the Hawks offense came out in full force. Supported by a 37-point outburst in the 1st quarter, the Hawks ran the Cavs outta town with ease. Kyrie Irving was held scoreless and the Cavs were atrocious. Oh, and THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK! (More on that later)

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Lil’ Tito was in a groove all night long, shooting 10-for-19 from the floor (see Key Performers above). He shot 13 mid-range jumpers. Thirteen! He only made six of them, which surprises me considering how wide open he was on many of those. The biggest low point of the night for Horf was when he fumbled a gorgeous pass on a fastbreak and lost it out of bounds. Come on Al! You won the Heisman as a WR in my NCAA 14 Road to Glory! 8.5/10

Jeff Teague: He’s still averaging 16 points and eight assists, but, for the past few games, I haven’t liked what I’ve seen from Teague. He added 13 points and six assists last night all while shooting 43% from the field. That makes two straight “eh” games. His three-ball continues to fail him (1-for-4 last night) and it seemed as if the Cavs were daring him to shoot from out there. Last time we had an opponent dare a player to shoot a three? I think you know who it is. Next up is a tough test against Russell Westbrook. Should be interesting to see what kind of game Jeff brings. 5/10

Paul Millsap: With all the rumors surrounding Omer Asik being dealt, the Hawks scenario generally involves swapping him with Paul Millsap. I highly disapprove. Trillsap showed us again last night why he is worth more than just $9.5 million a year. A beastly statline of 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 5 assists sums up the Cleveland power forwards well. They were thoroughly dominated last night. 8.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: He didn’t make any of his three attempts from the beyond the arc, but snagged eight boards. Eight boards! I don’t know whether to be happy that he’s crashing the glass so effectively or angry because he’s taking away stats from Al and Paul! But hey, 10 points and 8 boards for DeMarre is a solid night, even if he didn’t make a three. 6/10

Kyle Korver: THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK THE STREAK.He played well on his record-breaking night and said at halftime that he’s “glad its over so he can play some basketball.” The Hawks gave him a nice tribute video showing all 90 of his made threes. Job well done. 90/10 Continue Reading…

Early in the first quarter against the Cleveland Cavaliers, Kyle Korver broke the record for most consecutive game with at leas on three-point fieldgoal. Dana Barros was the previous holder with 89, and now that Korver has 90 he can now focus on how far he can take the streak. Yesterday Bloomberg Sports predicted that he had a 50% chance to reach 100 straight games, but there is no telling how far consistent Kyle can take it. If you want to watch history being made, the video from NBA.com can be found here: http://www.nba.com/video/games/hawks/2013/12/07/0021300282-cle-atl-korver-record.nba/?cid=nba_12_twitter_L.

FINAL

       LAC(12-7) 97 – 107 (10-10) ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 25 pts, 9 reb, 6 ast, 3 blk
B. Griffin (LAC): 24 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks came ready to play tonight, that’s for sure. The Clippers didn’t make a single three in the first half and they had trouble keeping Paul Millsap under control from destroying them all game long. While a late Clippers run closed it to 79-74 with 11 minutes to go, the late efforts weren’t enough as the Hawks piled a nice lead back on and closed the game out with ease. I’ll be honest, it was nice having a game that didn’t go until 0.4 seconds left. I still have fingernails to chew on.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: On a night where Big Al was 2-for-10 outside of the paint, he provided a solid presence down low. While he wasn’t main course of the Hawks “meal” this evening, he was certainly my favorite side dish. Lil’ Tito (Because I’m new here at HH, I’d like to warn you that I tend to call Al Horford “Lil’ Tito” more often than not) had a relatively quiet 21 points and 9 boards in a night where only had one turnover and also recorded a defensive rebound while sitting down. True story. 7.5/10

Jeff Teague: Five personal fouls tonight for Teague in a game where he only attempted five shots. Yikes. He had four turnovers in the game, but, in my opinion, only two of them were really his fault. One pass mishandled by Korver and a silly offensive foul (where I think Jamal Crawford just slipped) don’t count in my box score. Oh, and his pick-and-roll defense was sub-par tonight (Hint: I used “sub-par” because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings). Other than that, Jeffrey scored six points and dropped six dimes. He had a nice isolation three pointer that impressed me, but other than that, he was “eh” in a game where he didn’t need to be great. 4.5/10

Paul Millsap: Trill recognize trill, as it has been all season for Paul Millsap. The 9.5 million dollar man battled it out with Blake Griffin (until Blake got scared and had Jared Dudley switch over). In what I believe to be his second-best game of the year, Millsap put up a very solid stat line of 25 points (on 60% shooting), nine boards, six assists, three blocks, and one steal. I’m going to dock him just a touch because of what Blake Griffin did on the other end, but you have to tip your hat to Blake for making some tough, awkward shots down low. 8.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: The Junk Yard Dog was must’ve been feeling trashy tonight because he was in his element all night long. He made both of his three-point attempts and shot 4-for-6 overall. 12 points and seven rebounds is exactly what I want to see from DeMarre. He must’ve read Bo’s recap of the Spurs game, because his transition game was flawless. Well, flawless as in “he didn’t have any chances to over-dribble”. Actually, he didn’t have any fastbreak chances at all. He also shot a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line, something Paul Millsap can’t say tonight (0-for-2). 6/10

Kyle Korver:The Streak is back! The Streak is one away from owning the record! The Streak is the only reason Kyle’s father came to watch his game tonight! While the last statement is probably, no, make that definitely not true, what is true is that “The Streak” is a nickname I am seriously considering. It was just another hot shooting night for Korver, hitting six treys and scoring 23 points. Ho hum. He still needed 51 more points to catch his mom’s career high. So, with that information handy, do we consider tonight’s performance a family failure? All jokes aside, Kyle played a very nice game and his hands were all over the place, as per usual. He’ll go for the record on Friday as he tries to make it his 90th consecutive game with a triple. 7/10 Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks have assigned guard Dennis Schröder to the Bakersfield Jam of the NBA Development League, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Schröder, Atlanta’s first round pick in the 2013 NBA Draft (17th overall), is averaging 3.7 points, 2.5 assists and 1.1 rebounds in 13.9 minutes in 11 games this season. He ranks tied for fourth among all NBA rookies in assists and tied for 16th in scoring.

Schröder has fallen out of the rotation recently in favor of Shelvin Mack. Although the Hawks don’t have sole ownership in Bakersfield, it will be good for Dennis to get some playing time instead of just warming a spot on the bench.