Archives For January 2014

The Hawks’ Paul Millsap has been selected to the Eastern Conference All-Star team, according to ESPN’s Marc Stein and Yahoo!’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Millsap is averaging 17.8 points, 8.2 rebounds, 3.0 assists, 1.7 steals, and 1.2 blocks per game on the fourth best team in the East. Millsap leads the Hawks in all of those statistical categories (except assists) with Al Horford out for the season.

Millsap is the first Hawk to be selected an All-Star since Joe Johnson in the 2011-12 season.

Hawks-Pistons Postponed

Bo Churney —  January 29, 2014

Wednesday night’s game against the Detroit Pistons has been cancelled due to the current weather situation in the city of Atlanta. No makeup date has been scheduled as of yet.

Stay safe, ATLiens!

RECAP: Thunder 111, Hawks 109

Bo Churney —  January 28, 2014

FINAL

OKC(36-10) 109 – 111 (23-21)ATL

Key Performers:
K. Durant (OKC): 41 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast, 2 stl, 3 blk
P. Millsap (ATL): 23 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

So… Kevin Durant just isn’t fair. The Hawks had a double-digit lead in this game, but as you may have heard, KD is NOT nice. Durant scored 13 points in the fourth quarter, including the game-winner, to give his Thunder a two-point win at home. The Hawks defended Durant well throughout the game, but the MVP-frontrunner was still able to connect with the bucket and light up the Hawks for 41 points. Still, a great effort from the Hawks — who were without Horford, Teague, and Pero Antic — against one of the best teams in the league.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: With about 35 seconds left or so, Millsap was called for a travel on a drive that probably would have resulted in a go-ahead bucket. Now the travel was a close call, but the bigger issues is that Millsap is getting called for this type of travel (moving his pivot before dribbling) about two times per game. Overall, he had a good game, but this play is becoming an issue for him and it can be argued that it cost the Hawks a victory. 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre’s defense was great the whole night and he still got burned by Durant. *repeats unfair statement from opener* He could have been slightly more efficient, as his 7-for-14 performance from the field was littered with easy looks that didn’t go in. My advice to DeMarre is that maybe he should flop next time against Durant when he receives a two-armed push… maybe he’ll get a call then. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Strong 14 points, three-board, four-dime night from Kyle, as he extended his three-point streak to 113 games. I would have like to see him shoot the ball more late in the game, but the Thunder did a good job and keeping him from getting open looks when the game was on the line. 7/10

Shelvin Mack: Strong first half for Shelvin… not as strong of a second half. Still a good game overall, as he only turned the ball over one time, but he had a lot of trouble initiating offense in the fourth quarter against a swarming, Ibaka-led defense. 7/10

Gustavo Ayon: Great game from Ayon, who played an almost season-high 26 minutes. Goose had six points, 10 rebounds, and four assists in a strong effort, and it is possible that the Hawks could have used a little more of Ayon late in the game when the Thunder where making their fourth quarter run. 9/10

Continue Reading…

As announced by the NBA, Paul Millsap has been awarded the Eastern Conference Player of the Week for games played from Monday January 20th to Sunday January 26th.

During said stretch Millsap played in four contests and averaged 21.3 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, 2.5 steals and 2 blocks on 50.8% shooting from the field in just 31 minutes a game. The Hawks won 3 of their 4 games, with Millsap dominating in the wins over Miami, Orlando and Milwaukee. Atlanta’s lone loss was to San Antonio, who trumped the Hawks by 26.

This is Millsap’s first Player of the Week award, and the first award given to a Hawks player this season. He was able to beat out the Knicks’ Carmelo Anthony, who averaged 37.8 points and 8.3 rebounds per game this week (including a 62-point outing) and the Heat’s LeBron James, who averaged 26 points, 8 rebounds and 5.5 assists on 54.3% shooting from the field.

This award could hopefully mean that Millsap’s play in Horford’s absence is gaining recognition – which in theory could help in his All-Star bid. The Hawks haven’t sent a player to the All-Star game since the 2011-2012 season when Joe Johnson was on the team.

RECAP: Hawks 112, Bucks 87

Cole Patty —  January 26, 2014

FINAL

      MIL(8-35) 87 – 112 (23-20)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 20 pts, 8 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
B. Knight (MIL): 27 pts, 4 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks faced a myriad of injuries coming into their contest against the Milwaukee Bucks, with Jeff Teague being the latest addition to the list. The good news is they played the lowly Bucks, a squad whose 8-35 record ranked last in the NBA. Atlanta took full advantage of the weaker competition and paced out to a 60-45 halftime score behind an impressive two turnovers and 8-16 shooting from beyond the arc. The third quarter was where the Hawks really shined however, tallying up 36 points to push the lead to 32. This resulted in the fourth quarter mainly being garbage time, which included Jared Cunningham’s first points as a member of the Hawks and James Nunnally making his third appearance for the team.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap was named ESPN’s key performer for the game, and with good cause. He was the easily the best bigman on the floor for both squads, with his efficient 20 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Millsap struggled to begin January, valleying with his 1-10 night against Indiana, but he’s putting together the types of nights that are expected of him. Making a strong case for an All-Star bid with Thursday being the coach selection day. 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll was a surprise start for the Hawks tonight, and he stepped up in Teague’s absence. He went 4-for-5 from the field (3-for-3 from three) for 12 points while adding six rebounds. He also added in four assists in the first half, which matched his season high. Carroll has missed two shots total over his last two games and has averaged 14.5 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists in that time frame. Hopefully that will carry over into Monday’s game against the Thunder. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle clanked his first two attempts, and worry filled the air of whether or not he was going to have an off night. Almost immediately he extended his streak to 112 straight game with a three pointer, and quickly after he banged home a four point play. He ended the night 3-for-7, but more importantly 3-for-4 from deep. He wasn’t anything special tonight, but he didn’t really have to be in such a blowout. 6/10

Shelvin Mack: Mack’s numbers weren’t eye-popping, but he was rock solid in his first start of the season. In 24 minutes, his nine points and four assists were close to his per-36 marks for the season. Which is more than enough from a spot-starting backup in injury relief. 7/10

Gustavo Ayon: Inarguably Ayon’s best game of the season. He finished well at the rim, didn’t look completely lost defending down low, grabbed a few rebounds, and even threw in two steals. The five fouls and three turnovers looked bad, but this is a much better effort from Ayon, who has had a down year. Maybe this is the game that turns it around for the third year pro. 10/10

Continue Reading…

RECAP: Spurs 105, Hawks :'(

Bo Churney —  January 24, 2014

FINAL

SAS(33-10) 105 – 79 (22-20)ATL    

Key Performers:
T. Duncan (SAS): 17 pts, 16 reb, 2 ast, 4 blk
P. Millsap (ATL): 15 pts, 8 reb, 2 ast, 4 stl, 2 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Both teams were missing key players due to injuries. Al Horford, DeMarre Carroll, and Pero Antic were out for the Hawks and Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, and Tiago Splitter were sidelined for San Antonio. Both coaches lamented the injuries beforehand, but it appeared like the teams should have been closely matched.

It didn’t work out that way.

San Antonio stormed out to a 27-14 first quarter lead, largely thanks to three threes hit by Patty Mills off the bench in that quarter.

“Coming off the bench,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich about Mills, “he really made the spread for us.” Mills finished the game with six threes and 18 points.

Tim Duncan also played a key role defensively in the first quarter, blocking two shots, which doesn’t begin to show his total impact in the quarter. The Hawks shot 6-for-20 from the field, spearheaded by Paul Millsap’s 1-for-6 effort.

Bad things continued to compound for the Hawks, as Jeff Teague left the game in the second quarter with an ankle injury. He did not return and will not travel with the team for Saturday’s game against Milwaukee. Teague had been the team’s only bright spot up to that point, scoring nine points on 4-for-7 shooting from the field.

“It’s tough,” said Kyle Korver on Teague’s injury. “We have to find a way. The teams we’re playing against aren’t going to feel sorry for us.” Continue Reading…

Antic, Carroll Injury Updates

Bo Churney —  January 24, 2014

Pero Antic will be out 2-4 weeks with a stress fracture in his right ankle. Antic suffered the injury against Brooklyn in London, where it was originally believed to only be an ankle sprain. Antic had taken on a larger role since Al Horford’s injury and was averaging 11.4 points and 5.9 rebounds in the month of January.

DeMarre Carroll, according to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, will miss Friday’s game against San Antonio and Saturday’s game against the Bucks with an irritation injury in his right hamstring. Carroll suffered his injury against the Magic on Wednesday and attempted to play through it before exiting the contest in the third quarter. Carroll’s injury is particularly damning because he is easily the Hawks’ most effective wing on defense. According to 82games.com, the Hawks’ defense gets 7.7 points worse per 100 possessions when DeMarre is off the court.

The Hawks will start Teague, Williams, Korver, Millsap, and Ayon against the Spurs, according to Vivlamore.

RECAP: Hawks 112, Magic 109

Bo Churney —  January 22, 2014

FINAL

ORL(11-32) 109 – 112 (22-19)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 24 pts, 6 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl, 5 blk
V. Oladipo (ORL): 24 pts, 7 reb, 7 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

After big home wins against Houston, Indiana, and Miami, the Hawks finally got something to show on the road against the Magic. The Hawks shot 55.6% in the first half, including a 17-for-24 effort at the rim, but only led Orlando 60-56 at the break. The Hawks then brought out the torches at the beginning of the third quarter, leading by as many as 19. The Magic battled back, however, mostly in the absence of DeMarre Carroll, who left the game due to a hamstring irritation. After taking the lead in the fourth quarter, the Magic relinquished it back to the Hawks after Pero Antic and Jeff Teague combined for six consecutive free throws to close out the game.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: If you didn’t notice the Key Performers, let’s look again at the gaudy line that Millsap put up: 24 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals, and five blocks. Wow. However, after the game, Coach Budenholzer was not talking about Paul’s stat line as much as he was Paul’s leadership, as Bud commended his starting power forward for leading the huddle and motivating the guys when it looked like the Magic might take control of the game. 10/10

Pero Antic: Pero was pretty awful early in the game and it looked like he did not have much confidence in his shot. However, he was huge in the fourth quarter, grabbing a couple of clutch rebounds and going 5-for-6 at the foul line, with the last four makes pushing the Hawks to victory. 6/10

DeMarre Carroll: His injury in this game and his absence in the Brooklyn game made one thing very clear: DeMarre Carroll is extremely important to this team on both sides of the floor. Carroll was plus-18 in just 24 minutes of play, where he scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow, but it appears that his injury is not too serious. 10/10

Jeff Teague: As bad as Teague was last game… yeah, you know the cliche. Jeff finally got his scoring touch back, putting up a nice 23 points on just 14 shots. He was definitely more aggressive with the ball and he was rewarded with eight FTAs for his effort. Only two assists on the night, but he played a lot off the ball with Shelvin in the game. 8.5/10

Kyle Korver: Very nice overall effort from Korver, who put up 12 points, five rebounds, and seven dimes for the game. He also had a clutch block late in the fourth quarter on Jameer Nelson. Oh, and that three-point streak of his was extended to 110 games. 8/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 121, Heat 114

Bo Churney —  January 20, 2014

FINAL

MIA(29-12) 114 – 121 (21-19)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 26 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
L. James (MIA): 30 pts, 4 reb, 6 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks broke their nine game losing streak against the Heat on Monday, defeating Miami 121-114. The Hawks were bolstered by strong bench play, as the quartet of Elton Brand, Mike Scott, Lou Williams, and Shelvin Mack combined for 45 points and 14 assists. Mack’s play was especially strong, as he eventually replaced an ineffective Jeff Teague and ran the Hawks’s offense for most of the second half.

The credit for the Hawks win may lie with Atlanta’s improved defensive effort after the 71-70 lightning storm of a first half. “Two 22-point quarters,” said Coach Budenholzer about his team’s defensive effort, “is a real positive for our group, to be able to find a way to get some stops against a very talent, well-coached team.” The Hawks forced 12 turnovers in the half and limited the Heat to 4-for-16 three-point shooting, which is a large change from five turnovers and 11-for-17 three-point shooting in the first half.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap continues to play well against the Miami Heat. In this game, Millsap had 26 points, seven rebounds, and four dimes. Much of his work came down low, where he was awarded with 11 free throws, of which he made 10. Eventually, his effort in the paint caused Miami to direct more attention to the ATL big man, something that resulted in Kyle Korver getting open for the dagger three-pointer in the fourth quarter. 9.5/10

Pero Antic: Foul trouble limited Pero’s minutes, but he played fantastic offensively. He started out strong, scoring 10 of the team’s first 15 points. He finished with 17 points overall, which is a career-high. However, he struggled defensively, as Chris Bosh presented a very unique challenge for the Macedonian center. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: LeBron may have scored 30 points, but it was a pretty great overall game from DeMarre; LeBron had a couple of makes that were not DeMarre’s fault. Possibly the key in the ATL victory from the Junkyard Dog was that he hit his open looks, going 8-for-13 from the field for 19 points. 8/10

Jeff Teague: This might be the worst game of basketball we’ve seen from Jeff Teague this year. He was just 1-for-7 from the field — but with six assists — before he was benched in favor of Shelvin Mack in the second half. The Hawks really need Teague to find his shot if they want to be as successful as possible. 2/10

Kyle Korver: The Heat gave a lot of attention to Korver in this game and it opened up the floor a lot for the Hawks. Korver ended up with six assists, and the team had a plus-15 rating when he was on the floor. He also extended his three-point streak to 109 games. 8/10 Continue Reading…

This is not a good time for the Hawks to be facing the two-time defending champions.

Atlanta did recently slay the Pacers and Rockets at home, but those two games are the Hawks’ only wins in their past seven games. The Hawks are currently on a two-game losing streak after a loss in Memphis and a beatdown in London from the Brooklyn Nets. A loss against the Heat would send Atlanta back to .500 and possibly down to fifth in the East if Washington wins against the 76ers this afternoon.

So what can the Hawks do to pull off an upset against Miami? Well for one, the home team will have DeMarre Carroll back, as he missed Thursday’s game in London because of the birth of his daughter. Carroll should help bolster the Atlanta defense that had huge troubles with Joe Johnson in London and would have had enormous problems with LeBron James without Carroll in the lineup.

The Hawks will also hope to take advantage of a Miami defense that is slightly down this year. Of course, the Heat are still top 10 in defensive efficiency (10th per Basketball-Reference), but Miami is giving up a full point more per 100 possessions than last season, and four points more than two seasons ago. One of Miami’s big holes has been three-point defense, where they rank in the bottom 10 of the league by allowing opponents to shoot 36.8% from behind the arc. While this may point to a big night for Kyle Korver, that’s not necessarily what the Hawks need; the Hawks will need their secondary three-point shooters — Jeff Teague, Pero Antic, and Carroll — to hit the open looks that they get. Teague, who is in one of the worst shooting slumps of his career, is currently shooting just 25% from three-point land this season, with his problem seemingly being a proclivity to come up short on above-the-break threes. Continue Reading…