Archives For Bo Churney

FINAL
Series is tied, 1-1

IND(1-1) 101 – 85 (1-0) ATL   

Key Performers:
P. George (ATL): 19 pts, 4 reb
P. Millsap (IND): 27 pts, 10 reb, 6 ast, 4 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

That was about the worst-case scenario for the Atlanta Hawks, injury-free category. Jeff Teague and Paul Millsap were balling again in the first half, again putting the Pacers on their heels by holding the lead after both of the first two quarters. However, that all changed in the third quarter as Paul George and Indiana finally gave a glimpse of the team that we saw in the first half of the season. George’s buzzer-beating 30-foot 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter was a symbolic nail in the coffin for the Hawks, giving the Pacers a 14-point cushion heading into the fourth quarter.

Why was this the worst case scenario? It isn’t just the Pacers winning this game; it’s the way they did it. The Hawks had the lead for half of the game. To allow the Pacers to storm back and rout them could prove to be critical as the series shifts to the ATL.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Jeff Teague: Take note, Jeff Teague: the best defensive team in the league figured that its best strategy for limiting the Hawks was to stick one of the best perimeter defenders in the game in your path. Take that as a huge compliment. How did Teague respond? In the first half — and the first quarter in particular — Teague did exactly as he did in Game 1. He let his teammates open up lanes with their spacing, then he broke down the defense by getting into the lane. In the second half, Teague had less success, going 1-for-5 from the field as Indiana’s defensive unit clamped down and the Hawks started to miss their open shots. Overall, I still think Teague played well. 8/10

Paul Millsap: Like Teague, Millsap continued his great work from Game 1 into the first half of this game. He hit two 3-pointers, he had a couple of great takes to the basket, and he was getting to the line, all three of which are things that he is going to need to do for the Hawks to win this season. Unfortunately, also like Teague, Millsap could not get the mojo going in the second half, resulting in the Hawks losing the third quarter 31-13. 7.5/10

Kyle Korver: Korver went 1-for-5 in this game, which is something that the Hawks absolutely cannot afford for him to do. The Pacers did a good job as a whole of keeping Korver from getting open, so when Korver actually is able to get free, he’s got to connect. Hopefully the 1-for-5 night (and 3-for-12 start from 3 so far this postseason) proves to be an aberration. 5/10

DeMarre Carroll: With Paul George guarding Teague for most of the game, I thought DeMarre might be able to take advantage of having a combination of Lance Stephenson and George Hill on him. He and the team really couldn’t take advantage of this, however, and at least two of his five shot attempts on the night were extremely forced. I would be interested to see if the Hawks are able to adjust and try to open up for cutting space for DeMarre in Game 3. 9/10

Pero Antic: With how many open looks Pero is likely to get in this series, they are going to need him to do better than 2-for-9 from the floor and 1-for-5 from 3. He did good defensively, but this series quite literally depends on Pero’s ability to stretch the floor. 5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIL(15-67) 103 – 111 (38-44)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Scott (ATL): 17 pts, 4 reb, 4 ast
B. Knight (MIL): 31 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Atlanta ended their season on Wednesday night by getting a win over the lowly Milwaukee Bucks, finishing the season with a 38-44 record. With Paul Millsap sitting out again to rest his sore right hand for the playoffs, Mike Scott was inserted into the starting lineup and he was one of the leaders of the ATL effort. Scott led the team with 17 points (eight in the first quarter) and was also tied for the team lead in assist with four. In fact, everyone was getting in on the assist game, as six different Hawks had at least three assists; this includes rookie Mike Muscala, who had his best game as a pro with 15 points, four rebounds, three assists, and two blocks. Atlanta’s next game will be on Saturday at 7PM (on ESPN!) as they start their first round series with the Indiana Pacers.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Mike Scott: I already went over a lot of Mike’s success in the opening statement, but here’s some other stuff he did: he led the team with 32 minutes played, scored 15 points in the first half, plus he had a pretty neat rip on a Jeff Adrien attempt in the paint. Mike doesn’t always do a lot on defense, so you have to appreciate when he doesn’t something on that end that leads to a bucket. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Only 20 minutes from Jeff, but something that I liked is that he was 2-for-5 on 3-pointers in that time. I like Jeff taking open 3s. He should get some open opportunities in the upcoming series against the Pacers and it is really refreshing to see him not only attempting, but making those shtos. 8/10

Pero Antic: Pero didn’t have a lot of touch on his shot on the night (2-for-8 from the field), but he did the other things that have made him a positive player this season: defending well, plus his general presence opening the lane for his teammates on offense. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: I was actually a bit concerned when I found out that DeMarre was playing in this game, mainly because he’s been deal with some slight ailments lately and I didn’t want his extreme-effort style of play causing another injury in a game like this that doesn’t affect the standings. Nonetheless, DeMarre looked fine, putting up 13 points, four assists, and three steals in just 22 minutes of play. And hey, he made all of his layups! 8/10

Kyle Korver: I never thought Korver could play 22 minutes in a game without attempting a three, but that is exactly what happened in this game. He still had seven points and four assists, but just so odd that he didn’t even get a shot off from 3-point land. Makes you appreciate his 3-point streak even more. 7/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

MIA(54-26) 85 – 98 (37-43)ATL

Key Performers:
J. Teague (ATL): 25 pts, 4 reb, 3 ast, 4 stl
L. James (MIA): 27 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks won their third straight game, with this victory over the Heat clinching the final spot in the Eastern Conference playoff race. The win is thanks to Jeff Teague, who was extremely aggressive in attacking the basket nearly the whole night. He wasn’t really attacking in the fourth quarter, but that’s because Lou “Chicken Man” Williams was cooking up something extra crispy. Williams had 23 points on the night, 18 of which were scored in the game’s final period. Lou actually completely closed the game for the Hawks, scoring the team’s final 12 points after the 2:54 mark to thwart any chance of a Miami comeback.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Millsap was rather quiet on the night, only putting up 11 points, eight rebounds, and five assists, which broke his streak of seven consecutive double-doubles. One thing of concern: Millsap appeared to twist his ankle in the fourth quarter, but he remained in the game. It will be interesting to see if the Hawks decide to rest him over the final two games. 7/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was attacking the basket with AUTHORITY on several occasions, putting up a couple of highlight and-one finishes that got the Hawks contingent of the crowd to make some noise. “He always sets the tone when get gets out there and is aggressive and he pushes the tempo,” said Paul Millsap of his starting point guard. “He attack and he attacks. It’s good for us. It’s what we need from him.” So… how about some of that same aggressive stuff in the playoffs, Jeffrey? 9.5/10

Elton Brand: With Pero Antic sitting out, Elton Brand had to start for a second consecutive game. He played 27 minutes and made his defensive presence known when he had a highlight reel block on a LeBron James layup attempt in the first quarter. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: LeBron turned it up a bit at the end of the game, but for most of the game, DeMarre played great defense on the league’s best player. DeMarre made LeBron work for each and every bucket when he was on the floor. On offense, DeMarre had five turnovers, but he also hit three 3-pointers and was an overall plus on that end, too. 9/10

Kyle Korver: Really quiet night from Korver; only four points and three rebounds. Wade was scoring early, but that was more a factor of Wade hitting jumpers than of poor defensive play by Korver. 3/10 Continue Reading…

It was announced earlier today that former Atlanta Hawk Lou Hudson passed away after suffering a severe stroke. He was 69.

Hudson was named an All-Star six times while in Atlanta and he averaged 22 points per game in his career with the Hawks. Hudson is one of three players, along with Bob Pettit and Dominique Wilkins, to have his number retired by the franchise.

Hawks co-owner Michael Gearon had this to say on Hudson’s passing:

“Lou Hudson holds a special place in the Hawks family, in the hearts of our fans and in the history of our club. As a fan growing up with this team, I’m fortunate to say I was able to see almost every game Sweet Lou played as a member of the Hawks. He was an integral part of successful Hawks teams for over a decade, and is deservedly recognized with the ultimate symbol of his significance to the franchise with the number 23 hanging inside Philips Arena. On behalf of the Hawks organization, I’d like to extend condolences to Lou’s family and friends.”

The Hawks and RPM

Bo Churney —  April 9, 2014 — 2 Comments

Last week, ESPN released a new stat called Real Plus-Minus (or RPM) as a new perspective into gauging the impact a player has on the court. For ESPN’s intoduction of the stat, click here.

In a nutshell, adjusted plus-minus stats work by taking your regular plus-minus figures and attempting to set a value to each player’s situation based on their teammates, their opponents, and even coaching. It then tries to put those numbers together and assign a “real plus-minus” as a figure of a player’s overall value. RPM is measured in net-point differential per 100 possessions. (100 possessions is about the length of your average game)

As with all stats, I don’t think you can just take one and use it to end an argument. With that said, RPM should provide an interesting new tool to look at when trying to confirm the impact of a certain player(s). Continue Reading…

There was no local TV for this game. It was a make up for the January 29th game that was postponed due to one of the snowstorms that hit the Atlanta area this year. With baseball season now underway, neither team had its normal crew on site.

Let’s just say that nothing of value was lost.

Both teams played extremely sloppy games, with the two teams combining for 31 total turnovers. Neither team shot above 43% from the field and 56 total free throws were attempted. It was just everything you don’t want to see about a basketball game.

The Hawks’ losing effort was led by Paul Millsap, who was nursing a sore right thumb. Even with the injury forcing him to be more proactive with his off-hand, Millsap still managed to scored 24 points on 10-for-19 shooting from the field. Millsap also had 11 rebounds, four assists, two steals, and a block to round out his stat line. Continue Reading…

FINAL

CHI(43-32) 105 – 95 (32-42)ATL    

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 22 pts, 11 reb, 3 ast, 2 stl
D. Augustin (CHI): 23 pts, 5 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

This was actually a really fun game for about the first 18 minutes. Both teams were playing great offense, the Hawks were making their 3s… the game was just brimming with excitement. Then the offense stopped working, the Hawks started carelessly turning the ball over, and the Bulls were able to take advantage. DJ Augustin was on fire, making four back-breaking 3-pointers. Overall, the Bulls were 12-for-25 on 3-pointers, a consequence of the Hawks collapsing on defense a bit too much and subsequently losing open shooters. With the Knicks win, the Hawks are now tied for eighth spot in the East.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Another good game from Paul, who was tasked with guarding Joakim Noah for several portions of the game. Millsap just didn’t get enough help from his starting frontcourt mate Pero Antic, who…. I’ll get to that later. 9/10

Jeff Teague: Things the Hawks really should not do: waste good games from Jeff Teague. Jeff didn’t score in the fourth quarter, but for most of the game he was aggressive with his takes and he wasn’t too awful on defense. He was the only Hawk to post a positive plus-minus with plus-1. 8.5/10

Pero Antic: That was not great. In 10 minutes, he was 0-for-2 from the field (including a missed WIDE OPEN LAYUP) and he had only one rebound. He did make some creative passes, but he just awful during his time on the floor and he was benched for the second half in favor of Elton Brand and Mike Muscala. 1/10

DeMarre Carroll: Not much of a game from DeMarre. Chicago usually did well at keeping him from getting open looks on the perimeter. On a positive note, he did finish his only transition attempt on the night… he got the and-1, too! 6/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle was on fire early, hitting three 3-pointers in the first quarter. After that, he was actually pretty awful. He only made one 3 after the first and he made some absolutely dreadful passes; you don’t why four turnovers out of a guy who is not one of your primary ball-handlers. 4/10 Continue Reading…

Hawks-Bulls Preview

Bo Churney —  April 2, 2014 — Leave a comment

At this point, with the way the season is gone, I have no preference on the Hawks making the playoffs. If they miss out and get a lotto pick, I think that is good for the team. If they happen to make the playoffs, I think it is good for the team.

However, if the team really does want to make the playoffs, they will want to put a competitive effort up against the visiting Chicago Bulls. The Hawks have usually had trouble with Joakim Noah, Taj Gibson, and the Bulls, meaning that this game could quickly turn into a bloodbath.

So what are the keys for the Hawks to win this game?

First, the Hawks will want to try and get Joakim Noah out of the lane as much as possible. This means no more 1-for-8 performances from the field, Pero Antic. Of course, consistently pulling Noah out of the lane is harder than it sounds; Noah can move with great quickness and can easily recover back into the positions that Coach Thibodeau’s defense requires from him. It’s why the Bulls are second in the league in defensive efficiency. Continue Reading…

FINAL

PHI(16-58) 95 – 103 (32-41)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 28 pts, 17 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl
T. Young (PHI): 23 pts, 3 reb, 4 ast, 4 stl, 3 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

For a moment it looked like the Hawks were about to encounter a disaster. They were down double-digits at the end of the first quarter and the first half, seemingly getting dominated by a Sixer team that is probably the worst team in the league as currently constructed. However, the rest of the Hawks finally decided to show up to complement Paul Millsap’s monster game and the Hawks were able to end their six-game losing streak. Lou Williams came alive in the second half, scoring 16 points, 11 of which came in the fourth quarter where Williams hit several clutch buckets to give the Hawks the edge over Philadelphia.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Like all of the Hawks, Millsap was better in the second half than in the first, but he was essentially the the Hawk player to have a good first half. Millsap finished the night with 28 points and 17 boards, but it was the 15 points and seven rebounds from the first two quarters that really kept the Hawks afloat in this game. 10/10

Jeff Teague: Shocking development: Teague was sleep walking for most of the game and only had small spurts where he picked up his effort and played like the he was worth the $32 million contract the team gave him over the summer. Teague had 12 points on 11 shots and five assists with four turnovers; it shouldn’t be a surprise that Lou and Dennis received a good chunk on minutes in this game. 3/10

Pero Antic: Not a good effort on either side of the floor from Pero. He was 1-for-8 from the field and made a couple of bad passes that really stuck out. (he made some good ones too, but the bad ones were ugly) 2/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre had a decent game with nine points, five boards, and four assists, but the best part of it is that his effort was pretty consistent throughout, as it always is. That is always good to see, especially when you consider that DeMarre is still dealing with a rather nasty illness that kept him out of Saturday’s game. How do I know it was a nasty illness? DeMarre showed no shame when talking about it post game in the locker room. Suffice to say… you probably don’t want to know. 8/10

Kyle Korver: Welcome back to the lineup, Kyle. He struggled in his first game back after missing six games dealing with back spasms. He started off 0-for-5 from the field, but he started to come alive a bit in the second half and showed a much more balanced effort on both offense and defense. 6/10 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.