Archives For Bo Churney

Shelvin Mack had sat out the past two games because of the Hawks’ superb depth at point guard with Jeff Teague and Dennis Schröder. With Teague on the sidelines due to a hamstring strain, Mack had an opportunity to make an impact on Wednesday night against LeBron and the Cavaliers.

And boy did he do just that.

Mack scored a career-high 24 points off the bench, including 17 points and a 5-for-5 performance from 3 in the second quarter that swung the game in the Hawks’ favor. After trailing by 12 in the second, the Hawks rallied to take a 65-60 lead into halftime. Mack’s play translated to the rest of the Hawks in the second half, as Atlanta outscored Cleveland 62-38 in the final 24 minutes to give the Hawks a 127-98 victory.

The Hawks took control in the third quarter by continuously running plays targeting Kevin Love on defense. Paul Millsap and Al Horford accounted for seven straight Atlanta field goals in a span where the Hawks expanded their lead to double-digits. Horford finished with 20 points and four assists, while Millsap tallied 14 points, eight rebounds, and four assists. Continue Reading…

Hawks Outlast Bulls for 17th Win

Bo Churney —  December 15, 2014 — 1 Comment

After having their nine-game win streak broken in Orlando, the Hawks were able to rebound (figuratively, not literally; the were outrebounded 57-40) against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls with a scrappy 93-86 win.

The Hawks were led by Al Horford, who had one of his best all-around games of the season. Horford tallied 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. It was Horford’s second 20-point/10-rebound game of the season. The six assists were a season-high for Horford, who appeared to take extra effort in trying to control the offense in the fourth quarter in order to try and keep Chicago’s defense on its heels.

“We talked about wanting to have great pace coming out tonight,” said Coach Budenholzer. “The first quarter, scoring 28 points against a really good defensive team… we got some baskets in transition. The one Al got sticks out. Paul’s sticks out to me. It probably ended up being the little bit of cushion that we needed, that allowed us to get the win.”

The Hawks received two solid performances off of the bench tonight, one being from Elton Brand. Brand only played 13 minutes, but he made his presence known, scoring eight points and loudly stuffing a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Brand followed up that block with a jumper less than a minute later, which gave the Hawks a nine-point lead early in the game. Continue Reading…

Hosting the lowly 76ers after winning seven games in a row sure seemed like a classic trap game for the Hawks. However, the Hawks saw no such let up, controlling a mostly slow-tempo game on Wednesday night between them and Philadelphia, notching their eighth consecutive victory with a final score of 95-79.

Mike Scott missed this game due to flu-like symptoms, paving the way for Mike Muscala to make an impact off of the bench. In 19 minutes, Muscala recorded 12 points, seven rebounds, and three assists after spending some time in the D-League due to the Hawks’ superb depth at the power forward and center positions.

“His length is something that always stands out every time Mike gets to play,” said Coach Budenholzer. “He affects the game at the defensive end, at the rim. He alters shots, blocks shots… on the boards, offensively and defensively, he has a presence.”

Muscala has now scratched playing time in seven games this year and he is starting to become an interesting factor off of the bench. He is not as good of a shooter as Scott, but Muscala still has a decent jumper and he impacts the game on rebounding and defense in a way that Scott does not. It’s a small sample size, but it might be worth investigating and rewarding Muscala with some more consistent playing time. The late first quarter/early second quarter line up of the bench players plus Horford? Put Muscala in there with Horford and see what happens.

Elsewhere on the roster, both Paul Millsap and Kyle Korver led the team with 17 points in Wednesday night’s game. Korver did his on 6-for-11 shooting and added two rebounds, two assists, three steals, and a block to his line. Millsap was only slightly less efficient, scoring his points on 7-for-13 shooting to go with eight rebounds and three assists. Continue Reading…

The Hawks hosted the Denver Nuggets in a 3:30 matinee affair and walked out of Philips Arena with a 96-84 victory, the team’s sixth win in a row. The win also moves the Hawks to second in the East and first in the Southeast division by virtue of a tiebreaker over the Washington Wizards.

Paul Millsap led the way, scoring 23 points on 13 shots. Millsap kept the Hawks alive in the third quarter, where the Hawks were on the brink of blowing a 20-point lead. The forward had 14 of Atlanta’s 20 points in the quarter, going 3-for-3 from behind the 3-point line.

“He’s a unique player in that he can score and impact the game in a lot of ways on the offensive end,” said Coach Budenholzer on Millsap. “He can play in the post, he can play off the dribble, off the elbows, and is also able to spread the floor and shoot 3s.”

As the Hawks have done for most of this six-game win streak, they started off well in the first quarter, taking a 32-21 lead after 12 minutes. “We came out and got a little bit of a cushion with our defense,” said Budenholzer. “I thought a lot of different guys contributed… I thought we finished the quarter well.” This great play in the first quarter was not there for the Hawks at the start of the season, where Atlanta was often falling behind early and forcing themselves to dig out of a hole. Continue Reading…

The Hawks destroyed the Brooklyn Nets on Friday night with a final score of 98-75.

The game started slow, with the scoreboard showing 18-16 in Brooklyn’s favor after the first quarter. That changed in the second quarter, as DeMarre Carroll got hot and hit four 3-pointers in the period, including a buzzer-beater to close the half. Carroll outscored the Nets on his own in the quarter, tallying 14 points to Brooklyn’s 13. The 13 points were a season-low in a quarter for the Nets.

The third quarter played a little tighter, but the Hawks had already built up a 20-plus point lead. By the time the fourth quarter started, the Hawks were again firing on all cylinders and the Atlanta led grew to as many as 32. Dennis Schröder was the main guy leading the Hawks at this point, as he scored 11 points and grabbed three steals in the quarter before being taken out of the game. Schröder’s totals for the game were 13 points, five assists, and four steals.

By the end of the game, the Hawks had taken all of the regulars off of the floor and had a lineup of Shelvin Mack, Thabo Sefolosha, Kent Bazemore, Elton Brand, and Mike Muscala on the floor. Can’t say we’ve seen a lot of that lineup this year, although if more situations like this arise, I think the Atlanta faithful will gladly enjoy that lineup. Continue Reading…

Hawks Blast the Heat in Miami

Bo Churney —  December 4, 2014 — 1 Comment

The Hawks went down to Miami on Wednesday and defeated the Miami Heat 112-102 for the Hawks’ fourth straight win.

Atlanta controlled the game nearly wire-to-wire, opening up double-digit leads in as early as the first quarter. Sharing was caring to open the game, as the Hawks assisted on all 11 of their field goals in the quarter.

The second quarter saw Miami surge back, mostly behind the scoring of a healthy Dwyane Wade, who missed the first meeting between the two teams in November. Wade scored 10 in the quarter, cutting the Atlanta lead to one until the Hawks rallied behind Dennis Schröder, who closed the half with a wicked layup attempt in traffic, giving the Hawks a 55-47 lead.

The second half is where the Hawks really blew the doors off of the Heat, powered by Jeff Teague’s 22 second half points. Although the Heat were able to close the margin some, the Hawks were leading by as many as 18 in the fourth quarter after Teague hit a step-back 3-pointer. Teague finished the night with 27 points, five rebounds, and six assists, which was quite the performance after sitting on the bench for the entire fourth quarter the night before.

For the second straight night, Dennis Schröder set a new career-high in points, this time with 16. Schröder continues to be highly efficient with either scoring or passing on drives to the basket, and he augmented his scoring by hitting two 3-pointers against Miami. The young German is currently averaging 19.3 points and six assists per 36 minutes. Continue Reading…

The Hawks won on Tuesday night by defeating the Boston Celtics by a score of 109-105. The Hawks won despite trailing by 23 points at one point, and Kyle Korver was a big reason why the Hawks were able to comeback. However, Boston’s Evan Turner lobbed some unkind words in Korver’s direction after the game.

Strong words from a player whose team just gave up 109 points in a loss.

Let’s just make this clear. Continue Reading…

The Hawks fell behind early to a hot-shooting Boston Celtics team, allowing 42 points on 17-for-22 (77%) in the first quarter. The lead ballooned to 23 early in the second quarter as Rajon Rondo continued to dish to open men, who promptly sank their uncontested jumpshots.

The Hawks battled back in the second half, mostly behind the hot shooting of Kyle Korver and superb play of Dennis Schröder. Korver scored 10 points in the third quarter to help cut into the large Boston lead, and then Schröder took over in the fourth, scoring 10 points and failing to turn the ball over despite the intense defensive pressure applied by Avery Bradley. Schröder also gathered the final defensive rebound in a scramble with 14.9 seconds left, leading to a Kent Bazemore run out layup to secure the game for the Hawks with a score of 109-105.

“Our aggressiveness and activity wasn’t where it needed to be for a half,” commented Budenholzer on the team’s poor defensive start. “I give our guys a lot of credit for finding a way to bounce back and giving ourselves a chance to win a tough game.”

One part of the Hawks’ renewed defensive effort in the second half was Korver matching up on Rondo. “[Rondo] was kind of picking us apart like a quarterback with 14 assists at halftime,” said Budenholzer. “We just wanted to try a different look.” After 14 assists in the first half, Rondo was limited to five assists, three turnovers, and zero points in the second half and a lot of that had to do with Korver’s length and intelligent footwork on defense. Continue Reading…

Hawks Curb Stomp the Hornets

Bo Churney —  November 29, 2014 — 2 Comments

This game was a blowout, meaning there is very little to talk about and discuss from it, so excuse me while I have a little fun with this one.

The Hawks dominated the Hornets on Saturday night in Philips Arena, with a final score of 105-75. And really, the game was not even that close. The Hawks were up 80-36 at one point in the third quarter before they finally pulled the starters. For those that missed the game, here’s a visual representation of how it went down:

Yes, it was that bad. Charlotte’s offense is already awful and that was combined with missing Gary Neal and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist, with the latter’s absence also creating a hole in the Hornets’ defense. The Hawks capitalized on these weaknesses and mixed it with some hot shooting, leading to a 64-28 lead at halftime where the Hawkers were shooting 61% and the Hornets were shooting 25.6%.

“That was a good effort that hopefully we can build from,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer in a very blunt statement to open his post game interview. Continue Reading…

The league’s best player so far this season — Anthony Davis — arrived in Atlanta with his Pelicans on Friday night and he left with a 100-91 defeat to the Jeff Teague-led Atlanta Hawks.

Teague’s hot night started off early, where he scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the game on a mix of floaters and layups. His magnificent play continued throughout the game, as Teague was weaving and scheming off of a bevy of screens, resulting in a 26-point, seven-assist night for the Atlanta point guard.

After giving up 126 points to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Hawks’ defense locked down on Friday, allowing just 28 points in the first half. Part of that was the Pelicans employing Austin Rivers as a starter, but Atlanta’s big men did a great job at contesting shots at the rim and the guards were fighting hard through screens to prevent New Orleans from getting open looks on the perimeter.

The Hawks were only 5-for-17 (29.4%) on 3s for the night, but an important make came late in the fourth quarter from DeMarre Carroll. With the shot clock winding down after a Davis block on Al Horford, Paul Millsap kicked the ball out to Carroll in the corner, who promptly sank a contested 3-pointer to push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points. Continue Reading…