Archives For March 2014

FINAL

WAS(38-35) 101 – 97 (31-41)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Wall (WAS): 25 pts, 7 reb, 6 ast
P. Antic (ATL): 13 pts, 12 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Ugh.

Bad luck continues to strike as the Hawks visited Washington without their best perimeter defender, DeMarre Carroll, and their lord and savior Elton Brand. Still, the starters played a helluva game and were backed by some strong nights by Lou Williams and Dennis Schröder, but Atlanta couldn’t pull through as they drop their sixth straight and now stand at 31-41 on the year. A last-ditch effort by the Hawks to come back from eight down with just over a minute left gave Atlanta the ball down two with under 20 ticks to go. Jeff Teague missed a well-defended reverse lay-up and Drew Gooden iced the clinching free throws.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap played a whopping 40 minutes on the night, but continues to struggle with his offense. He shot 5/13 from the field, but was orchestrating the offense really well with 5 dimes. His getting Trevor Booker into foul trouble early and often turned around to bite Atlanta in the behind, since Drew Gooden hopped off the bench and spread the floor, finishing with 16 points on 5/5 shooting. 4/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier started for the sidelined DeMarre Carroll and filled in quite well. Martin drained a couple of threes en route to 13 points and 4 rebounds. He was by no means a minus on defense, closing out well and not losing his man on cuts. The kind of performance to warrant more minutes, if he weren’t getting them out of dire need. 9/10

Shelvin Mack: Mack did an exceptional job on Bradley Beal tonight, harassing him over screens and forcing a poor 5/15 shooting night. Although Mack was just 2/6 from the field, he did a little bit of everything, grabbing 6 rebounds and assisting on 6 buckets while committing just a single turnover. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff Teague did plenty to give the Hawks a real chance at this game. Well, he missed the game-tying lay-up in the final seconds, but besides that! Teague was aggressive, showing off his speed against one of the most polarizing speed demons in the NBA. Wild finishes inside were dropping and we saw zero hesitance on his jumper. Jeff finished with 19 points on 8/17 shooting from the field, including two threes. 8/10

Pero Antic: Oh yes, way to return with a statement Pero! Antic did a lot of everything, setting hard screens, work on the glass, knocking it down from deep… Antic finished with 13 points and 12 rebounds – leading the team in +/- with a +24 thanks to some active defense. 9/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

POR(46-27) 100 – 85 (31-40)ATL

Key Performers:
LaMarcus Aldridge (POR): 25 pts, 16 reb
Jeff Teague (ATL): 22 pts, 3 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks fell behind early, pushing back with two runs in the latter half that eventually fell short as Atlanta drops their fifth in a row. For most of the night, the Hawks starting five was their best lineup, cutting into a colossal halftime lead for Atlanta’s first “comeback” of the night. After the Blazers responded, it was Lou Williams stepping up to keep the Hawks within striking distance, but to no avail. Once again the Hawks couldn’t connect from downtown with Korver and now Antic out with injury, shooting 4-22 on the evening.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap had another tough outing, unable to find his best looks with little spacing. Paul was forced to take a large amount of poor perimeter shots, leading to a horrid 3-15 shooting night. Another factor could have been exercising a majority of his effort on defense, where he guarded LaMarcus Aldridge for most of the contest. Millsap was solid in this regard, forcing Aldridge into tough mid-range looks. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was extremely aggressive tonight, constantly looking for seams into the lane and putting up every shot that looked appealing. He played with an extra shot of swagger, throwing one-handed bullet passes and at one point sizing up his defender with some streetball dribbles. The frivolous things aside, Teague finished 10-18 from the field and scored 22 points in 37 minutes. 9/10

Elton Brand: Budenholzer 3:17 says, “Amassing the plague of injuries in such dire times, God sent forth a descendant from the heavens, a savior for the troubled Hawks. The bearer of 42 great angel wings, his holiness, Elton Brand.” Amen. 10/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll stuck to his script, scoring 11 and grabbing 4 boards shooting nearly perfectly from the field, 5-of-6. During the broadcast, ‘Nique noted DeMarre’s floater that’s been a recent addition to his game when he dropped one through in the first quarter. Atlanta’s swiss army knife keeps on getting better. 8/10

Shelvin Mack: Mack started alongside Jeff Teague tonight, his 3-9 shooting night skewed by a couple of last second flings. Impressively, the Blazers weren’t able to take advantage of the obvious mismatch with Mack having to guard Wes Matthews who loves posting up smaller guards. 7/10
Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIN(35-35) 107 – 83 (31-39)ATL

Key Performers:
Gorgui Dieng (MIN): 15 pts, 15 reb
Mike Scott (ATL): 15 pts, 7 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks struggled with turnovers and spacing issues all night with Kyle Korver out of the lineup, falling to the Minnesota Timberwolves on the road 107-83. Atlanta shot 7-28 from downtown for a measly 25% clip from deep, and committed a whopping 25 turnovers – their second worst display of ball control on the season. The T-Wolves scored just under a quarter of their points in transition, mostly through leak outs that were bound to be on the scouting report. The Hawks kept it relatively close through two and a half quarters, until a slew of giveaways helped widen the gap in favor of Minnesota. With Atlanta squaring off against Portland tomorrow, coach Budenholzer emptied the bench about three minutes into the fourth to give his starters much-needed rest.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap couldn’t get anything going tonight, often settling for jumpers or being crowded down low. A 4-13 shooting performance from Paul will rarely lead to a W, but on the bight side he was excellent just about everywhere else. Millsap showed a lot of activity defensively and collected 10 boards in just 27 minutes. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague didn’t score a single point. Not one. An 0-5 night was partly in thanks to Ricky Rubio’s excellent defense, but at the end of the day is still unacceptable. Teague did find his teammates with some rather impressive dimes, finishing with 6 assists, and properly defended Rubio for most of the night. Teague went under every screen and didn’t allow any easy looks. 4/10

Pero Antic: Antic had an abysmal night, never forcing Gorgui Dieng – Minny’s only true defensive presence inside – to come out of the paint. With Kyle Korver out, Antic was Atlanta’s best threat from three-point land tonight but couldn’t connect. Antic was 1-5 from the field, 1-4 from downtown, making him 4 for his last 22 three-point tries. And it should go without saying he didn’t really stand a chance against Kevin Love. 2/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre had a strong outing, hitting his jumper with regularity and hounding Kevin Martin on the opposite end. Carroll was 4-9 from the field, scoring 11 points, grabbing 6 boards and coming away with 3 steals. On nights like these when the team is a bit of a mess, it’s always nice to see DeMarre providing stability with his defense and highly efficient shot attempts. 8/10

Mike Scott: Scott replaced Korver in the starting five, but scrapped down low for boards and only got into his offensive flow until he shifted over to the four. Scott was not a great Kyle Korver, but he was a solid Mike Scott tonight. 15 points and 7 boards on 6-11 shooting, and his usual lapses on the defensive end. 8/10
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As we reach the end of the season the bottom half of the Eastern conference is in a tight race. The Nets have been pulling away as of late, but they aren’t out of the woods yet. The Wizards are holding on to that 5-6 range for dear life and the Bobcats are making a mad push for the sixth seed.

But where does this leave Atlanta? Currently at the bottom of the East playoffs in that eight spot. It’s possible with the team finally healthy (when Korver gets back into the lineup) they will make a run at a higher seed. I decided to take a look at their remaining schedule, along with everybody else in the 5-7 slots, to see how they might finish position wise.

Ground rules:

I will use my judgement to try and figure out who I think should win the game based on factors such as skill, being on a back to back, and home/away.

Games between Atlanta, Charlotte, Brooklyn, and Washington will use a 1-10 number generator: 1-5 is a win and 6-10 is a loss. For the Hawks, I rolled on them. For other games, I rolled on the home team.

If there are extraneous circumstances then I will consider those. For instance, Atlanta had a back to back where they had to play in Charlotte then go back home to Atlanta. That’s a 40 minute plane flight, not the roughest travel for the Hawks.

Remember this is all in a vacuum under a certain set of rules to try and look at the remaining schedules. The intent is to give us an idea of how the season might finish out. I am not saying this is how it will end or if this is how I think it will end.

Continue Reading…

According to the AJC’s Chris Vivlamore, Kyle Korver did not travel with the team to Minnesota and will not play Wednesday against the Timberwolves. It is currently unknown if Korver will be able to play for Thursday’s night home game against the Portland Trail Blazers.

This is a huge blow to the Hawks, who have lost three straight games and are shooting just 21-for-71 (30%) from three-point range. That isn’t necessarily from lack of open looks either; the Hawks just haven’t been able to connect from deep like they usually do and the absence of Korver is a big part of that.

According to Vivlamore, Coach Bud will go with Mike Scott in the starting lineup instead of Shelvin Mack. Scott will play small forward, pushing DeMarre Carroll into the two-spot. Expect to see a lot of Lou Williams as well, who played great in Monday’s night loss to the Phoenix Suns. The Hawks will also need Pero Antic to play well, as he is a big component with the team’s spacing.

RECAP: Suns 102, Hawks 95

Bo Churney —  March 25, 2014

FINAL

PHX(42-29) 102 – 95 (31-38)ATL  

Key Performers:
E. Bledsoe (PHX): 20 pts, 6 reb, 4 ast, 2 stl
D. Carroll (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Well, after winning five in a row after that awful losing stretch, the Hawks are back on the wrong side of the result with a third straight loss against Phoenix. The Hawks were leading at halftime, but the Suns outscored the Hawks 35-23 in the third quarter, largely behind Goran Dragic, who had 14 points in the quarter. Gerald Green then closed the game in the fourth quarter, scoring nine points over a stretch that gave turned the Phoenix lead from four into 10 with just five minutes left in the game. The Hawks are just 2.5 games ahead of the New York Knicks for the last spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was really defended well by the Suns, but he was able to get some work in at the free throw line, going 7-for-10 from the stripe. He was only 6-for-14 from the field though and a lot of his makes weren’t from easy attempts. Suns made him work hard for the buckets. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague and the entire team were really dominated by Dragic and Bledsoe. They did a good job at cutting off passing lanes and as a result, the Hawks only had 18 assists on the night. Part of that was also fouls (the Hawks got to the line 33 times, Teague seven times), but credit to the Suns’ defense for making the Hawks work the shot clock on a lot of possessions. 6/10

Pero Antic: Pero was only 2-for-6 from the field, but there was a moment in the first half where it looked like he was heat-checking on shots… Pretty sure Coach Budenholzer didn’t appreciate Pero taking tough shots like that early in the shot clock. 3/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre scored 19 points on just eight shots, which is probably one of the best offensive games of his career. Really unfortunate that the Hawks kind of wasted this kind of game from him. 9/10

Shelvin Mack: Per the usual, conservative ball-handling game for Shelvin, who netted six assists and only one turnover, but 2-for-9 from the field is not what the Hawks need out of their starting shooting guard spot. Hawks could really use Korver back in the lineup. 5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

TOR(39-30) 96 – 86 (31-37)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 17 pts, 8 reb, 3 stl
K. Lowry (TOR): 25 pts, 4 ast, 4 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

That was…well it was a matinee game for sure. The Hawks started off looking like the better team jumping out to a very quick lead. Then towards the end of the 1st quarter it got really sloppy. Turns out the majority of the game was going to get played that way from both sides. The Hawks played the same way consistently throughout the game, sluggish with bursts of energy here and there. The Raptors meanwhile were very inconsistent, until the 4th quarter. The Raptors played rough, not good, basketball for the first three quarters. Then, it was like they flipped a switch. They outscored the Hawks 36-15 in the 4th quarter and were far and away the better team.
Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap had a hit and miss games. He mad moments of brilliance and then he had times where he tried to drive the ball through three defenders. He only made one shot in the 4th quarter and was largely ineffective on both sides of the ball during the Raptors big run. However he was probably the best or second best player for the Hawks today. 6/10

Jeff Teague: After attacking the basket non stop in the first match up, the Raptors looked like they didn’t want to let that happen again. Giving Teague kickout passing lanes but not allowing him to get to the rim. While racking up 5 assists, it took Teague 13 shots to get 16 points. 5/10

Pero Antic: Rough game for Antic. One made shot and missed all five of his long range attempts. 2/10

DeMarre Carroll: Great game by Caroroll standards. 5 steals, 1 made triple (which ended up being a 4 point play), and 4 rebounds. On the defensive side of the ball he was hounding everybody. However I think he shot the ball too much scoring 17 points on 13 shots. Most of the shots were within the offense though so the complaints are minimal. 8/10

Shelvin Mack: Less than typical day for Mack but nothing egregious. 3-for-7 on 7 points is below his usual efficiency but he only had 1 turnover which is to be expected from him at this point. While he did a solid job of not being a big negative on the floor, he was never very noticeable in his 28 minutes on the floor. 5/10 Continue Reading…

The Hawks had a good solid bounce back after their 14 losses in 15 game stretch, but their winning streak ended at five games on Friday night after Anthony Davis and the Pelicans swooped into town and scooped up a victory.

Davis was an absolute monster, putting on a magnificent showing with his all-around game including highlight dunks, and believe it or not, highlight mid-range jumpers. Davis was not afraid to delve into extreme difficultly on his shots, converting a couple of plays were he was fouled (one didn’t count) and another fade-away that started off from behind the backboard. The scary part? Davis commented after the game that he still felt “under the weather” and that he wasn’t 100% after missing the Pelicans’ last game against the Raptors. Davis finished the night with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and one very emphatic block on a DeMarre Carroll shot attempt.

For the Hawks, they were missing Kyle Korver, who was scratched right before the game due to a flare up of back spasms during his pre-game shooting routine. His absence really showed how well prepared New Orleans was for the Hawks’ three-point attack, as Atlanta went just 8-for-28 (28.6%) from behind the arc in this game. Credit to New Orleans coach Monty Williams, who after the game praised Korver as the “best to ever do it” in terms of shooting. He also praised the overall talent that the Hawks have from deep, expressing great difficulty in trying to guard the three-pointer when all five starters can extend their games out that far. Shelvin Mack started in place of Korver and he had a decent offensive showing with 18 points and four three-pointers, which were half of the Hawks’ makes from three-point land. Continue Reading…

Korver Out with Back Spasms

Bo Churney —  March 21, 2014

Kyle Korver will miss tonight’s game against the Pelicans with back spasms.

It is not known when Korver starting experiencing the injury, but he stopped his pre-game warm up routine when he appeared to have stiffness in his lower back. Korver limited his warmups to just set shots before leaving the court about 10 minutes into his normal routine.

Korver will be missed as he is the league’s leading three-pointer shooter at 48.6%. Shelvin Mack will start in Korver’s place. It will be the seventh start for Mack this season, who is in his third pro season out of Butler. Mack is averaging seven points and three assists on the season.

Korver’s status for Sunday’s 1:00PM game against the Raptors in Toronto is unknown and will be updated as soon as that information is released.

millsapbillboard

From the team’s release:

ATLANTA, GA —– The Atlanta Hawks unveiled a pre-installed 21.5 foot tall, 700-pound, 3D-billboard of Paul Millsap dunking on a basketball rim at Chisel 3D yesterday afternoon. The billboard will be installed in early April near I-85 North of Piedmont Circle, where access is provided to Atlanta destinations such as Ansley Mall, Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.

“Our Managing Partner Bruce Levenson challenged us to use our billboards to reach out to our fans in a unique and creative way and we couldn’t think of anything more impactful than this unique billboard. We are excited for it to go up in such a great area in Atlanta and that our fans will get to know and learn more about Paul through this special promotion,” said Peter Sorckoff, Senior Vice President of Marketing.

The installation in early April will tip off a year-long promotion in which fans can enter to win one of three opportunities to spend time with Paul Millsap by calling **DUNK from their mobile phones and entering the contest. The three opportunities were selected by Millsap and include the following:

Free airfare and hotel for two nights to Las Vegas to watch an NBA Summer League game with Millsap with spending money and tickets provided. Continue Reading…