Archives For February 2014

At the start of the Hawks’ game against Chicago, DeMarre Carroll pulled defensive stud Jimmy Butler away from a Paul Millsap screen and pop action happening on the other end of the floor with the threat of an open three, leading to a wide open jumper on Atlanta’s first offensive possession. On the other end, he then suffocated what should have been a wide open Butler jumper; later in the shot clock, he got right in the way of a rolling Joakim Noah, forcing a pass out. Back on offense, Kyle Korver found a seam in the middle of the floor thanks to a Carroll screen, demanding Chicago’s attention as Millsap found himself wide open in the paint for a layup. Following a Bulls miss, Carroll leaked ahead of the retreating Chicago defenders for two points.

He did all of those things in just the first two minutes of Atlanta’s 100-85 loss in Chicago. His final stats weren’t eye-opening – 11 points, 5-for-10 shooting, two rebounds and two dimes – nor are his season averages of 10.5 points and 5.5 rebounds a night. However, these statistics cloud Carroll’s game-changing impact on this Hawks team, as well as what should be serious contention for the Most Improved Player award.

Consider Carroll’s career history prior to this season: four years, four teams, 173 total games played and just 22 starts. Carroll has over twice as many starts this season alone, playing a career-high 31.2 minutes per game with his next highest mark being 16.8 a contest. This leap in playing time for nomadic young players would normally result in poor production. Normally. Continue Reading…

RECAP: Bulls 100, Hawks 85

Bo Churney —  February 12, 2014

FINAL

CHI(26-25) 100 – 85 (25-25)ATL   

Key Performers:
J. Noah (CHI): 19 pts, 16 reb, 11 ast, 3 blk, and a partridge in a pear tree
L. Williams (ATL): 13 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks started off this game with three quick buckets in the paint, appearing to have a good game plan for getting through Chicago’s tough defense. Those turned out to be the easiest points the Hawks got all night, as Joakim Noah, who was everywhere, and crew dominated Atlanta for the majority of the night. The Hawks were outrebounded by a 58-27 margin and allowed 100 points to one of the worst offensive teams in the league. Not a lot of good to be taken from this one, as the Hawks have now lost four straight games and have dropped to fifth in the Eastern Conference standings.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Pretty bad night from Paul, who actually hit three three-pointers, but was just 3-for-9 on twos. Millsap seemed very hesitant on open shots and ruined the Hawks’ rhythm with his weird decision-making when they were only down eight in the fourth. He had looks on open looks from three, but he passed them up and tried pump-faking, which was odd, because he always ended up in a worse position than before. One time he did actually pull the trigger on a three… he was heavily guarded by Noah and there was a lot of time on the shot clock; just an odd night overall. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre was dribbling way too much in this game, which was more of a sign of a failed team effort than something that was his fault. He still had a decent night of 11 points, two boards, and two dimes, and I can definitely say that the team’s poor defensive effort wasn’t his fault. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Ditto for Korver on the “too much dribbling” thing; that’s usually a sign of an impending disaster for the Hawks. The Bulls didn’t give him much room to operate, but he was still able to knock down a couple of long-balls and extend #KyleStreak to 119 games. 5/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff Teague got a flagrant foul on Taj Gibson late in the game, which is about the most aggressive thing I’ve seen Jeff do since mid-December. Teague was actually 6-for-9 from the floor and looked like he should have been able to create more opportunities for himself, but he just didn’t do it. 5/10

Gustavo Ayon: *looks at Joakim Noah’s line, looks at Gustavo, looks back at Joakim’s line* Yeah, Gustavo had a very, very bad game. It was worsened when it appeared in the first half that he was the only one of the floor that wanted to actually do anything on offense. Bonus point for effort? 4/10 Continue Reading…

10 More Days of Carti-YAY

Bo Churney —  February 11, 2014

From the Hawks’ press release:

ATLANTA, GA —– The Atlanta Hawks signed forward Cartier Martin to a second 10-day contract, it was announced today by President of Basketball Operations/General Manager Danny Ferry.

Martin has appeared in 27 games (two starts) with the Hawks this season, averaging 6.6 points and 2.0 rebounds in 17.0 minutes (.415 3FG%, .821 FT%). He has also played in six contests this year with the Chicago Bulls, and averaged 2.5 points in 7.9 minutes (.625 FG%, .600 3FG%).

On the season, Martin has played in 33 total games (two starting assignments), putting up 5.8 points and 1.8 rebounds in 15.3 minutes (.426 3FG% – tied for ninth in the NBA, .781 FT%).

Cartier might not be a good defender, but he’s shooting 42.6% from three-point range and the Hawks are devoid of quality players that can play SF after DeMarre Carroll and Kyle Korver. I expect the Hawks to sign Cartier for the remainder of the season after this, pending possible trade moves.

Mike Scott’s New Level

Bo Churney —  February 11, 2014

On David Thorpe’s most recent Sophomore 20, the Hawks’ second-year forward Mike Scott found himself sitting loftily at the seventh spot, just behind John Henson and current Eastern Conference Player of the Week, Jared Sullinger, and ahead of Jonas Valanciunas and Patrick Beverly.

In the absence of Al Horford, the Hawks needed a scoring punch to come from somewhere and Scott has provided it. Since Horford went down on December 26th against the Cavaliers, Scott’s minutes and production have skyrocketed. Before Horford’s injury, Scott was getting 13.4 minutes per game and was only scoring 6.8 points per on 56.1% true-shooting. Since? In 20 games, which is a decent-sized sample, 21.6 minutes and 12.5 points per on an astounding 59.7% true-shooting. For reference, the league average for true-shooting percentage is around 53.7%.

What has made Scott so successful? It’s simple: he’s now an official part of the team’s game plan. Before, Scott saw spot minutes and would have chances in the offense just like everyone else. However, without Horford, the team needs Scott to make an offensive impact to be successful and he now has the green-light to shoot in many more situations than before. Continue Reading…

FINAL

MEM(27-22) 79 – 76 (25-24)ATL

Key Performers:
Z. Randolph (MEM): 20 pts, 6 reb, 3 blk
P. Millsap (ATL): 20 pts, 11 reb, 6 ast, 5 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Good god almighty that was an ugly game. The Grizzlies were missing their starting point guard in Mike Conley and that resulted in no flow at all in their offense. The Hawks were as usual missing Al Horford and that resulted in major struggles against the Grizzlies big bruising front line. The Grizzlies perimeter defense was as stifling as usual. The Hawks couldn’t score inside or outside. Bo Churney, the editor here at HawksHoop, actually wondered aloud if the team to get to 60 first would win. It was one of those nights.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: After seeing Millsap struggle against a big and strong front court like the Pacers a few nights ago, I was curious to see if Millsap would be able to handle the Grizzlies big and bruising front court. Millsap handled it just fine, stuffing the box score and doing everything in his power to bring it back in the end. 9/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll had himself a game. He was all over the court on offense and defense doing all the little things that you like to see him do. He was cutting off ball, shooting spot up jumpshots, setting screens, you name it and he did it. 8.5/10

Kyle Korver: While Millsap had no problems with the Grizzlies physicality, Korver, on the other hand, did. He was clearly frazzled by the Grizzlies. While he managed to knock down two triples (streak is now at 118) he didn’t contribute much else. 3/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was another player to find himself struggling against the Grizzlies physicality. Teague struggled at creating due to the mix of Nick Calathes and Courtney Lee all over him. When Teague would penetrate he would be swarmed by the likes of Gasol and Randolph. Teague did what he could but 8 points, 4 turnovers, and only one trip to the free throw line is an awful game for someone that got all star consideration earlier this season. 3/10

Gustavo Ayon: Not a bad outing for Goose. Perfect from the field (2-for-2, 6 points) and he grabbed himself eight rebounds. He spent a lot of the game splitting time with Brand. Bud was smart and kept his big men fresh. 6/10 Continue Reading…

RECAP: Pelicans 105, Hawks 100

Bo Churney —  February 7, 2014

FINAL

NOP(21-27) 105 – 100 (25-23)ATL

Key Performers:
A. Davis (NOP): 27 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast
P. Millsap (ATL): 16 pts, 10 reb, 3 ast, 2 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks used a barrage of three-pointers in the second and third quarters to take a four point lead on the Pelicans into the final quarter. However, in the fourth, the Hawks’ luck behind the arc dwindled and their defense failed to stop Anthony Davis and Brian Roberts. New Orleans scored 34 points in the fourth quarter, including two points off of a Roberts runner with 20 seconds left that was the final dagger for Atlanta. This was the Hawks’ 11th loss of the season that came by five points or less.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: It was nice to see Paul Millsap’s offense join the ballcub after a couple of games off. Millsap hit three three-pointers, all in the third quarter, and scored 26 points overall on the night. However, Anthony Davis is an emerging star in this league, and it showed as Paul had a difficult time guarding him all night. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: This was one of DeMarre’s best games all season. Unfortunately for the Hawks, DeMarre’s impact was lessened a bit, as the Pelicans don’t have a strong player on the wing for DeMarre to make a huge impact on defensively. Nevertheless, DeMarre scored a season-high 22 points, seven rebounds, four assists, and three steals. He was also 4-for-6 from behind the arc. 9/10

Kyle Korver: New Orleans did a great job at keeping Korver from getting open, translating to Kyle only getting six shot attempts on the night. Props to Al-Farouq Aminu for that. Kyle also found himself matched on former teammate Anthony Morrow at times and, suffice to say, I think it’s fair to award A-Mo as the winner of that matchup. (#KyleStreak to 117, though) 4/10

Jeff Teague: One of Jeff’s best play-making games of the year, which was particularly nice with DeMarre and Millsap hitting their open shots from behind the arc. However, Jeff couldn’t get his offense up and running, and it resulted in 11 points on 14 shots. The 13 assists and two turnovers is great, but Jeff rushed some of his shots on the night, most notably a early-clock, forced three from the corner where he had Anthony Davis in a switch. Also, Brian Roberts? Really Jeff? 6/10

Gustavo Ayon: Only 17 minutes for Goose, which I felt was the right decision. New Orleans had Stiemsma and Davis protecting the rim for nearly the whole game and Gustavo isn’t going to be able to finish around them. This is definitely a game where the Hawks sorely missed Pero Antic. 3/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

IND(38-10) 89 – 85 (25-22)ATL

Key Performers:
D. West (IND): 22 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast, 2 stl
M. Scott (ATL): 15 pts, 5 reb, 2 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks had plenty of chances they could have just rolled over and died tonight. It was nice to see that they never did. The Pacers would go up big and the Hawks would come roaring big. After a solid 1st half it looked like the Hawks might be able to hang around the entire game. Then the seconnd half happened… it was ugly. The ball movement and defense that had kept the Pacers off balance was no longer effective. The Pacers locked the Hawks down and midway through the fourth it looked over. Then the Hawks came right back.

With the game within four the Pacers called a timeout. They came out of the timeout with a David West jump shot and a Paul George fastbreak slam dunk. Once again, the game looked over. But again, the Hawks came right back. With Atlanta within two, CJ Watson was going to the line to shoot free throws for the Pacers. He made the first and missed the second. Atlanta grabbed the rebound and made a curious decision. The Hawks, fans, and hell, even the Pacers all expected Coach Mike Budenholzer to call a timeout. Coach Bud opted to not call a timeout. The only reason I can think of is that he wanted to catch the Pacers defense off guard; this didn’t work, the Hawks look confused and unprepared. The Pacers fouled the Hawks before they could shoot a three.

While the late game execution was not good, it was nice to see the Hawks show a special kind of mental toughness tonight. Yes, mental toughness can be a lame narrative, but it has merit when you see a team not get discouraged despite constant deficits throughout the game against the best team in the league.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap has had better days. Tasked with the job of guarding Roy Hibbert at times, and David West most of the night, Millsap was clearly over matched. West took advantage of whomever was defending him all night going 10-for-19 with 22 points and a lot of that was with Millsap guarding him. While Millsap did spend time guarding both players, he can’t let his matchup torch him like that. He didn’t do anything on the offensive end to make up for it going 2-for-11 from the field for seven points. 2/10

DeMarre Carroll: Bad news, Carroll 3-for-8 from the field and was not very useful on offense. Good news, Paul George went 6-for-18 from the field and had to work hard for most of his 18 points. A lot of that had to do with Carroll playing solid defense on him all night. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver got to game number 116 in his three-point streak early in the game. Unfortunately, that was the only three pointer he made all night. Korver didn’t do much to hurt the Hawks, but he didn’t do much to help them either. He was just kind of out there for most of the night, which is probably part of the reason Budenholzer decided not to re-insert him late in the game. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had a really strong start and the Pacers clearly noticed. Teague went 4-for-6 from the field to start the game and was doing some real damage to the Pacers with his penetration. The Pacers knew that Teague was the source of the Hawks strong 1st half so in the 2nd half they smothered him. Teague struggled penetrating the rest of the night and went 0-for-2 from the field with zero points in the second half. 6/10

Gustavo Ayon: Goose got the start tonight and had a fantastic 1st half. Going 3-for-5 from the field (it would have been 4-for-5 had he made a wide open jumpshot) and making some nice passes. His defense was solid and he fit in with the offense well. I have no idea why he rarely played in the second half after such a strong 1st half. He played 17 minutes total and 14 of them came in the 1st half. 7/10 Continue Reading…

Via today’s press release from the team:

“ATLANTA, GA —– Atlanta Hawks guard John Jenkins underwent successful lower back surgery this morning. The surgery was performed by Dr. Hal Silcox from the Peachtree Orthopaedic Clinic.

Jenkins will undergo a period of rest and recovery, followed by treatment and rehabilitation, and will miss the remainder of the season.

The second-year guard appeared in 13 contests this season, averaging 3.1 points and 1.7 rebounds in 12.2 minutes.

Back surgery is no joke, so hopefully John will be able to fully recover and be able to resume his career in a normal manner. In terms of the team, this isn’t the worst thing in the world, as Jenkins would still be buried in the rotation if he were healthy.

RECAP: Hawks 120, Wolves 113

Bo Churney —  February 2, 2014

FINAL

MIN(23-24) 113 – 120 (25-21)ATL

Key Performers:
K. Korver (ATL): 24 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast
K. Love (MIN): 43 pts, 19 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Before the game, Rick Adelman informed the media that Kevin Love was a game-time decision due to the ankle he injured the night before. Well, Kevin Love decided to play and he played like a monster, getting to the line 18 times and putting up 43 points. However, Love and the T-Wolves could have used some defense, as the Hawks were able to score 120+ points for a second consecutive game, largely led by Kyle Korver in the third quarter. The Hawks move back to a season-high four games over .500 with the victory.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap set a strong tone early, scoring 10 points in the first five minutes of the game. He fell off after that, though, finishing the game with 20 points on 18 shots before fouling out with four minutes left in the fourth quarter. Millsap was also rather sloppy handling the ball, resulting in five turnovers. 6.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: Budenholzer again had strong compliments for DeMarre after the game, stating that DeMarre is the guy who sets the defensive tone for the team. 113 points is a lot to give up, but it probably would have been more if it hadn’t been for DeMarre’s effort in the third quarter. He also had a weird offensive night, taking 15 shots, but scoring 19 points. 8/10

Kyle Korver: For what DeMarre was on defense in the third quarter, Korver was that on offense. Korver hit a trio of threes in the period and the Hawks scored 38 points to Minnesota’s 21. Korver also had a key play at the end of the first half, where he was fouled by Corey Brewer on a 30′ three-point attempt with 0.1 seconds left. Korver sank all three of the free throws, which moved the Hawks from down nine to only down six. 9/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff’s ankle didn’t seem to be bothered by the back-to-back at all, and he had a good night despite the tough matchup with Ricky Rubio. Teague had eight assists and only one turnover for the second straight game, plus three steals. 8/10

Gustavo Ayon: #NeverForget: Gustavo Ayon hitting a running layup off the glass late in the game to help seal the game for the Hawks. Didn’t know Goose could do that. 7/10

Continue Reading…

RECAP: Hawks 125, Sixers 99

Bo Churney —  February 1, 2014

FINAL

   PHI(15-32) 99 – 125 (24-21)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 18 pts, 9 reb, 4 ast
St. T. Young (PHI): 29 pts, 8 reb, 5 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks got Jeff Teague back for this game, but they might not have needed him. Atlanta led by as many as 32 as the woeful (aka: tanking) 76ers just couldn’t keep up. The Hawks had seven players in double-figure scoring, including Mike Scott and Elton Brand, who each had 18 points to lead the ATL rout. Thaddeus Young, who is a saint for sticking with this awful team, had 29 points in just 30 minutes of play. (#FREETHADYOUNG)

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Not really the greatest of nights from Millsap, but he put up a rather impressive line: 12 points, four rebounds, four assists, two blocks, and a season-high six steals. Oh, and he also threw down two massive dunks. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: Strong night from Carroll on the wing, where he led the Hawks with a plus-28 plus/minus. DeMarre had 13 points on nine shots — including 3-for-4 from behind the arc — to go with nine rebounds and a season-high four assists. (you’ll see “season-high” a lot in this recap) DeMarre’s only blemish n the night was three turnovers in 27 minutes. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Apparently Korver still receives a decent mix of cheers from the Philly crowd, which I thought was weird since he hasn’t played there in over six years. Nevertheless, Kyle burned his former team by hitting three threes, which extends his three-point streak to 114 games. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Only 12 points on 10 shots for Jeff, but his ball-handling was very strong in this game; at times, it seemed like he was the only player on the floor that wasn’t giving it away to the other team. He finished with eight assists on one turnover and had a couple of nice drives in the lane that would seem to indicate that his ankle is fine. 7.5/10

Gustavo Ayon: It seems like Ayon is starting to play better and better as he gets more playing time. He wasn’t as good as he was in the OKC game here, but he still had a solid effort with seven points and seven rebounds. He cannot, however, be turning the ball over four times in that small amount of playing time. 7.5/10

Continue Reading…