Archives For Bo Churney

The Rockets were without James Harden and Dwight Howard, but were still deadly enough to nearly take out the Hawks with a barrage of shots in the first three quarters. However, the Hawks rallied behind a hot crowd in the fourth quarter and completed a 18-point comeback to win 104-96.

“Seems like we were constantly trying to dig ourselves out of a hole,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer on his players. “The last one I think we went down 15 with nine or ten minutes left in the quarter and they found a way to make one more run to get over the hump.”

The Hawks came out of the gates extremely sluggish, as Jeff Teague’s lack of attention on the opening tip led to an easy layup for the Rockets instead of the Hawks taking possession. This sloppy play persisted throughout the first quarter, punctuated by nine Atlanta turnovers, which resulted in a 31-22 Rockets lead after 12 minutes of play.

“I didn’t like our focus coming out,” said Budenholzer, who was assessed a technical foul in the first quarter.

The Rockets continued to pile on in the second quarter, with Jason Terry and Terrence Jones combining for 21 points in the period. The Hawks interior defense on Jones was non-existent and Terry kept punishing the out-of-position Hawks by nailing open 3-pointers.

“They were doing a lot of great things offensively,” said Al Horford, who scored 18 points in the game. “It kept us guessing a lot of the time. We prepared for playing against, you know, like James Harden and everything and it kind of changes how you’re going to approach the game.” Continue Reading…

Hawks Outlast the Magic

Bo Churney —  February 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

This looked like it was going to be a blowout and quite honestly, this game should have been a blowout.

The Hawks were leading 21-5 early in the first quarter and were firing on on cylinders. Paul Millsap had 11 quick points, hitting three 3-pointers in about a one minute span in the opening minutes. Everyone was passing well and flying around on defense. Even as the Magic started to pick up their own pace, the Hawks still maintained a double-digit lead into the second quarter.

And that is where the wheels nearly fell off the wagon.

The Hawks’ second quarter can best be defined as a disaster, as the Magic outscored Atlanta 29-14 over the 12-minute frame. The Hawks shot 5-for-19 from the field in the quarter and turned the ball over 11 times. 11! The Magic, to their credit, were doing a good job at forcing the sloppiness and they capitalized off of Atlanta woes by shooting 50% for the quarter, including hitting four 3-pointers.

Whatever Coach Budenholzer said at halftime worked, as the Hawks only turned the ball over one time in the third quarter as they regained control of the game. The ball movement was crisp and the team countered the 11 turnovers from the previous quarter with 11 assists in the third. Jeff Teague, who was 0-for-6 from the field in the first half, also finally got his motor running, going 4-for-4 from the field for nine points as he was finally able to capitalize on opportunities in the lane. Continue Reading…

At approximately 3:32PM, the Hawks were not scheduled to play a game on Wednesday night, according to this Shelvin Mack tweet.

Players later corroborated this story after the team did in fact play a game; Mike Scott was taking a nap and DeMarre Carroll was at the grocery store when the two were later alerted that the game was indeed on.

“They told me the game was off and I got my family and we went to the grocery store,” said Carroll, who finished with 13 points. “We thought we were going to get snowed in. Then I get a text message when I’m in aisle seven pushing the buggy and they tell me the game is on. I had to hurry up. There was a lot of chaos.”

The effect of the late notification showed early on in the game. The Hawks were sluggish out of the gate, shooting 40% in the first quarter while allowing the Mavericks to shoot 64% from the field. The arena suffered four game stoppages in the first period as well, three for clock issues and another when the roof of the arena appeared to be leaking onto the floor.

The short delay and a dunk from Kent Bazemore allowed the Hawks to regroup, as the team came out with a little more gusto to close the first quarter. By the end of the half, the Hawks — though still down by six points — were showing momentum and controlling the Mavericks on defense, even though Monta Ellis and J.J. Barea hit a couple of contested jumpers to keep Dallas ahead. Continue Reading…

The Hawks had a huge problem on Friday night.

No, it wasn’t that they “needed a big man” like many continue to insinuate about the Hawks after the team stood pat at the trade deadline. It wasn’t that the Hawks needed Gary Neal or Ray Allen, either; this 25-point loss would not have been remedied by a roster change.

Quite simply, the Hawks did not play “Hawks basketball” on Friday night.

Sure, it did not help that Kyle Korver’s shooting was off, as the sharpshooter was 3-for-13 from the field and 2-for-11 from behind the arc. It did not help that Mike Scott was missing wide open dunks or that Paul Millsap was airballing free throws. The Hawks lost because they turned the ball over 20 times through the first three quarters.

Credit to the Raptors for playing great defense and anticipating the passing lanes well, but this was mostly on the Hawks. Their passes were often lazy and the ball started sticking a bit as the turnovers started to pile up. Millsap and Teague frequently tried driving in the lane, but when there was nothing there for them, they tried too much to get bailed out by the refs or to force an awkward pass out to the perimeter never reached its mark. Continue Reading…

The Western Conference All-Stars defeated the Eastern Conference All-Stars 163-158 on Sunday night in Madison Square Garden behind game-MVP Russell Westbrook’s 41-point performance. LeBron James led the East squad with 30 points.

Of course, this is a Hawks blog, so the focus here is going to be how Al Horford, Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Kyle Korver performed over anything else. Despite the loss, it’s safe to say that those four represented Atlanta well and gave the city something to be proud of.

Horford was the first Hawk to enter the game, as he did so with Kyrie Irving about seven minutes into the first quarter. This felt like a surprise, because the general thought was before the game that Budenholzer might insert all four Hawks at once. However, it did not take long for the rest of the Hawks to see the floor, as Teague, Millsap, and Korver joined Horford and Irving on the floor about a minute of game time later. Those four played the remainder of the quarter and we did not see four Hawks on the floor again until the third quarter when they took the floor with LeBron James.

Korver had the most notable performance of any Hawks player, as quick-paced nature of the All-Star game suits his style perfectly. Korver scored 21 points in 16 minutes and was 7-for-12 from 3-point land for the game. Continue Reading…

As ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported — and the NBA later confirmed — Kyle Korver was named the injury replace to Dwyane Wade for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Korver becomes the fourth Hawks on the team, joining teammates Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford.

“We would like to thank Commissioner Silver for selecting Kyle as an All-Star,” said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. “He is an integral part of our team and we are extremely proud that Kyle will be able to join his teammates Al, Paul and Jeff in being recognized this weekend. This is a positive reflection on all of the work the entire team, coaching staff and organization has put in this season.”

Korver currently leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (52.8%), 3-point field goals made (160), and true-shooting percentage. (73.6%) Korver is currently chasing a 50-50-90 season, where he could become the first player in league history to shoot 50% from the field, 50% from 3, and 90% from the free throw line.

The All-Star game will take place on Sunday, February 15th in Madison Square Garden.

This game could have definitely been billed as a trap game for the Hawks.

While the Timberwolves haven’t been good all year, they finally have gotten some of their injured pieces healthy. Ricky Rubio is back, Kevin Martin is back, and Nikola Pekovic and Shabazz Muhammad were both healthy for this game. With the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back coming off of a loss against Memphis where Jeff Teague was hobbled with a slight ankle injury at the end, it would not have been too surprising if Atlanta got caught napping by a Minnesota team that still hopes to prove something this year.

Of course, this Hawks team is still proving that it is not one that is going to get caught napping very often.

Al Horford scored a season-high 28 points and DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 26 points to pave the way for Atlanta in a 117-105 win over the Wolves in confines of the Target Center in Minnesota. The win kept the Hawks from losing consecutive games for the first time since mid-November, when the team dropped games to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

It definitely looked early on like that streak could end, as Minnesota was aggressively attacking the boards and getting second chances on offense. The Wolves had 23 offensive rebounds in the game and turned them into 27 second chance points, constantly extending possessions where the Hawks had to reset after playing 15 or 20 second of good defense. The rebounds were a big reason why Minnesota was hanging even with the Hawks at halftime with a score of 57-53 in favor of Atlanta.

But the Hawks turned it around in the third quarter, led by Carroll’s 11 points in the period. Overall, the Hawks committed more to running in transition, scoring a whopping 14 fast break points in the quarter. To their credit, the Wolves kept grinding on the glass and getting second chance opportunities, but the Hawks were mostly able to shut them down and forced the Wolves into 7-for-21 shooting in the period for just 19 points. Continue Reading…

The two best teams in the NBA clashed on Friday night and the Atlanta Hawks emerged with a 124-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors behind seven players with double-digit scoring.

“We’re a confident bunch, but it’s still a long season,” said Jeff Teague. “We’ve got another big test coming up for us against Memphis, so we’ll celebrate this win tonight and get ready tomorrow for Memphis.”

Teague’s sentiment was popular throughout the locker room after the game. In front of a large congregation of media that was asking about things such as the playoffs and Finals potential, the Hawks continuously responded with how there are still a lot of games to play and that the team still has a lot to prove. Despite that, this game goes a long way towards proving the capabilities of the Hawks. The Warriors have held the best point differential in the NBA and have been the best team in the NBA all season.

To anyone that did not watch this game, you should find a replay of it somewhere; it was tremendous. The pace was fast and both teams were trading haymaker 3s and highlight reel plays. For the Warriors, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were providing a lot of offense, with the two combining for 55 points. Draymond Green was also fantastic, putting up a stat line of 12 points, 20 rebounds (10 offensive), and six assists.

But at the end, the day belonged to the Hawks, who are now 42-9 and reclaimed the best record in the league. As mentioned earlier, the Hawks did it with a team effort of seven guys in double-figures, with Dennis Schröder just missing out with the nine points he scored to complement his seven assists. Schröder had a great stretch in the fourth quarter, where he assisted on a lob to Al Horford, hit a 3, and hit another jumper that pushed the Atlanta lead to eight. Continue Reading…

No, that title is not misleading. The NBA named the entire Hawks’ starting lineup as the Eastern Conference Player (players?) of the Month on Wednesday.

The Hawks’ undefeated record in January of 17-0 was an NBA record and the league responded by jointly naming Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford with the monthly award. This was only the second time the league has given multiple teammates this award, with Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Michael Finley accomplishing the same feat for the Dallas Mavericks in 2002.

“We appreciate the recognition of our starters’ play during this past month. It is reflective of all the work our entire team and organization has put in,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer. “We place a strong emphasis on having the right approach every day and making daily improvement. Collectively, we know that we have a lot more work to do this season and look forward to continue growing as a team.”

The Hawks currently sit at 41-9 — tops in the East by eight games — after beating the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.

It was fun while it lasted, but the Hawks’ 19-game winning streak finally came to an end on Monday night as the New Orleans Pelicans were able to defeat Atlanta by a score of 115-100.

Anthony Davis was the controlling force for New Orleans, constantly grabbing offensive rebounds and putting them back for easy 2s. Davis scored 29 points, grabbed 13 rebounds (eight offensive), and was his usual fantastic self on defense. One memorable play involved Jeff Teague in an isolation where he tried to crossover Davis and stepback for a 3-pointer… but Davis stayed in position and used his length to block the shot anyways.

Davis was not alone, as he got some great help from Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon. Gordon was a thorn in the Hawks’ side all night, hitting a bevvy of open jumpers as Evans was continuously getting the Hawks’ offense to collapse. Evans had a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists and Gordon finished the night with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer has been often preaching that one of the biggest driving forces behind this streak from the Hawks is that they kept playing “Hawks basketball.” They moved with and without the ball on offense, flied around on defense, and maintained a composure where they always exuded the confidence of being the better team. Continue Reading…