Archives For Caleb Cottrell

hh-logo-DRAFTFor the fifth HawksHoop draft profile, we take a look at Wisconsin forward Sam Dekker, who generated a lot of buzz with his play and shooting in the NCAA tournament.

Bio:

Small Forward, 6’9, 219 lbs. Junior, University of Wisconsin, 21 years old

2014-15 college stats:

31 minutes, 13.9 points, 52.5 FG%, 33.1 3P%, 70.8 FT%, 1.2 assists, 5.5 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.5 blocks, 25.5 PER.

Strengths:

Sam Dekker, the small forward out of Wisconsin, has been projected to go anywhere from 12-20. The Hawks, however, are one of his likely landing destinations. The 6’-9 forward can bring a lot of versatility to whichever team picks him on June 25. His size allows him the ability to play both the small forward and power forward positions, especially given the way the NBA has gone towards smaller lineups, as showcased in these NBA Finals. Dekker has the height, athleticism, and post game to play power forward in the NBA; however, he should add some more muscle to his 220 pound frame. He shot about 64% on 2-pointers, which is only two percent lower than Jahlil Okafor, who many say was the best offensive big man in the country. Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTWith the fourth draft profile, HawksHoop will take a look at another Kentucky freshman, Trey Lyles. He has been mocked as high as sixth, and there are plenty of rumors that the Knicks could be trading down to grab him, but he could also slip to the Hawks pick.

Bio:

Forward, 6’10, 241 lbs. Freshman, University of Kentucky, 19 years old

2014-15 college stats:

23 minutes, 8.7 points, 48.8 FG%, 13.8 3P%, 73.5 FT%, 1.1 assists, 5.2 rebounds, 0.5 steals, 0.4 blocks, 19.8 PER.

Strengths:

Trey Lyles is another forward the Atlanta Hawks could look to draft with the 15th pick. While Lyles was put in an odd position at Kentucky as the third best big man and relegated to play small forward, there were flashes of what he could be in the NBA. Lyles size is probably his biggest advantage right now. He’s 6’10 with a 7’1.5 or 7’3.5 wingspan — depending on if you go by Nike Hoop Summit’s or the NBA Combine’s measurements. Lyles also weighs 240, which should allow him to bang down low with the big guys. With that size, Lyles was able to pull down about five rebounds in 23 minutes a game, or about eight per 36 minutes. Grabbing that many boards while competing with Karl-Anthony Towns and Willie Cauley-Stein is pretty impressive. Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTThe third prospect due for a draft profile is Kansas’ freshman, Kelly Oubre. The small forward has been projected to go anywhere from 10 to 18 in this year’s draft.

Bio:

Small Forward, 6’6.75, 203 lbs. Freshman, University of Kansas, 19 years old

2014-15 college stats:

11 minutes, 9.3 points, 44.4 FG%, 35.8 3P%, 71.8 FT%, 0.8 assists, 5.0 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 0.4 blocks, 21.1 PER.

Strengths:

One of the most raw prospects in the top 20 is Kelly Oubre. Oubre was one of the most highly recruited high school prospects last year, but never really lived up to the hype at Kansas. Although Oubre only averaged 21 minutes per game, we were able to catch glimpses of the player that he could be. For example, in his limited time, the lefty averaged five rebounds a game, good for about 8.5 a game per 36 minutes. This would have put him as one of the top rebounders for his position, better than both Stanley Johnson and Justise Winslow.

Being 19 and extremely raw also means there is a lot of potential for Oubre. He was able to shoot 35.8 percent from three, grab five rebounds a game, and nab at least a steal a game, all in 21 minutes. Per 36 minutes, Oubre would have averaged about two steals a game. He has the height and wingspan — just over 7’2 — as well as the athletic ability to be able to guard shooting guards and small forwards in the NBA. His wingspan not only helps him reach in for steals, but it’s also incredibly useful for closeouts and blocking shots. Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTThe next prospect up for HawksHoop’s draft profiles is one of Kentucky’s heralded freshmen: Devin Booker.

Bio:

Shooting Guard, 6’5.75, 206 lbs. Freshman, University of Kentucky, 18 years old

2014-15 college stats:

21.5 minutes, 10.0 points, 47 FG%, 41.1 3P%, 82.8 FT%, 1.1 assists, 2.0 rebounds, 0.4 steals, 0.1 blocks, 19.4 PER.

Strengths:

Devin Booker has two really great advantages going for him at this point. The first one is his age. At just 18 years old, Booker can brag about being the youngest prospect in the entire draft class. He doesn’t turn 19 until October 30th. Being that young can be a disadvantage at times, but having the opportunity to learn from the best at such a young age can really help his game. He’s still raw, so his game can be molded into what coaches and himself think are the best. Also, because he is so young, he is going to still be able to add some strength, which would help him become a better defender at the next level since he isn’t incredibly athletic. Continue Reading…

hh-logo-DRAFTThe Hawks’ season may have come to a disappointing end, but they do have something to look forward to: they will swap draft picks with the Brooklyn Nets. So instead of being forced into taking one of the last picks of the first round, the Hawks will get to pick 15th, a place where a lot of budding college talent is still available.

Throughout this series, HawksHoop will take a look at players who will potentially be available in the middle of the draft, and we will assess how each player can fit with the Hawks. First up? Bobby Portis.

Bio:

Power Forward, 6’10.5, 246 lbs. Sophomore, University of Arkansas, 20 years old

2014-15 college stats:

29.9 minutes, 17.5 points, 53.6 FG%, 46.7 3P%, 73.7 FT%, 1.2 assists, 8.9 rebounds, 1.1 steals, 1.4 blocks, 29.5 PER.

Strengths:

At 6’10.5″, and a wingspan of 7’2”, Bobby Portis has great size for a power forward, and even center if the team wants to stretch the floor out. With that size, Portis was able to grab 8.9 rebounds a game in only 29.9 minutes per game. With the height, wingspan, and weight, Portis should be able to bang down low with most NBA bigs for rebounds. In his last year, Portis was able to pull down 3.7 offensive rebounds per game, good for tenth most offensive rebounds in the country. For comparison, Jahlil Okafor averaged 3.4 for the season, but grabbed one more offensive rebound than Portis for the whole season, with two extra games to do it. Continue Reading…

The Return of Thabo

Caleb Cottrell —  March 25, 2015

Thabo Sefolosha hasn’t played since January 30 — a win against the Portland Trailblazers. It also happened to be the second to last game of the 19-game winning streak. Now, Sefolosha returns tonight versus the Orlando Magic. Although Sefolosha has only averaged a tad under 20 minutes a game, he has a large impact when playing.

For the season, Sefolosha is playing 72 percent of his minutes at the Small Forward position, with Korver at Shooting Guard. While Sefolosha is guarding Small Forward’s, he is only allowing an insane 5.7 PER, according to 82games.com. For comparison, Kawhi Leonard is allowing a 12.6 PER, and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist gives up 10.2. Those are two of the best perimeter defenders in the league, and Sefolosha blows them out of the water. Now, Thabo has only played a total of 853 minutes, so he’s only played about 614 minutes at the position, which isn’t a very large sample size. Last year with the Oklahoma City Thunder, opponents PER against Sefolosha was 10.7, so the defensive impact is definitely there. Sefolosha also gets to boast a 35.3 Effective Field Goal Percentage that his opponents shoot when he guards them.

With the added defensive ability that comes with Thabo Sefolosha, it allows the Hawks more leeway with their lineups. If Sefolosha starts alongside Korver, it allows Demarre Carroll to come off the bench, like the Thunder did with James Harden (no, I’m not comparing Carroll to Harden). Schroder, Carroll, and Scott of the bench in the playoffs can be very good, even if Carroll ends up playing more minutes than Sefolosha.

Continue Reading…

Throughout the season, there has been a lot of talk of what team Ray Allen will decide to go to, or whether he will come back at all. The future Hall of Famer has been taking his sweet time in making up his mind. Thus far, he has been rumored to be connected to the Hawks, Cleveland Cavaliers, Golden State Warriors, Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs, and Los Angeles Clippers. So, basically, any team in contention that could use a shooter.

Everyone knows who Ray Allen is. He’s one of the best 3-point shooters of all time, he won championships with the Boston Celtics and Miami Heat, and now half of the teams in the league are vying for the thirty-nine-year old’s service for half of a season.

For his career, Allen is shooting an absurd 40 percent from downtown, which is the main reason teams want him. Allen will help any team’s spacing, without a doubt, and it is fun to think about him in Mike Budenholzer’s offense. For the first time in his career, Ray shot more 3s than 2s last season and that should be expected to be the same for the second half of the season. He should be expected to run around the perimeter, looking for opportunities to knock down a triple.

One reason Allen is going to be used as a sniper is because he’s no longer athletic enough to consistently drive to the rim, especially against the über-athletic guards in the NBA these days. It seems a little outlandish to expect a guy Allen’s age to drive and blow by someone like Jimmy Butler or DeMar DeRozan. Continue Reading…

Note: This is a season-long series in which Caleb Cottrell and Brandon Barnes will discuss what they notice from the Atlanta Hawks.

Caleb Cottrell: Welcome to another addition to the Pac-and-Forth series! Sadly, Brandon Barnes and I have gathered you all here today because the Hawks lost their first game since the new year. However, it’s a new day! They still have the best record in the East and plenty to be thankful for!

Song of the Week:

CC: Fort Minor! M. Shinoda! The Hawks got knocked down after losing their first game since mid-December. It’s all about getting back up on their feet, and not letting this one game keep them down, which I don’t think will happen. They just need to continue to work hard, and they will get the attention and be remembered.

BB: For my song this week, I’m going with an English football classic. That’s right, it’s Liverpool’s fan anthem and mantra “You’ll Never Walk Alone”. As a new fan of Liverpool’s this year, I’ve found it extremely enjoyable to watch and experience because all of the key points of the franchise are similar to the New Hawks. A strong team, fanbase, and, most importantly, a community: all hungry for the next win. How about we get Sir Foster to jam this at the next game while everyone holds up Hawks scarves (or I guess the American equivalent: snapbacks…)? Maybe not, but it’s still a powerful song. Listen to the lyrics with an open heart and picture how well this fits in with this team. Continue Reading…

Note: This is a season-long series in which Caleb Cottrell and Brandon Barnes will discuss what they notice from the Atlanta Hawks.

Caleb Cottrell: Welcome to the second edition of PAC-and-Forth, everyone! I’m joined by esteemed HawksHoop colleague Brandon Barnes. The Hawks are doing their thing, winning nine straight games to improve to a smooth record of 30-8. Not only are the Hawks winning, but they have been talked about more and more lately.

Song of the Week: 

CC: This one is pretty obvious for me, and a bit of a throwback. DJ KHALED. All I Do Is Win is pretty self explanatory. This song is basically the Hawks theme song since, well, all they’ve been doing is winning lately. Continue Reading…

In the modern NBA, 3-point shooting has taken a prominent role in most team’s (looking at you, Byron Scott) offensive systems. The Atlanta Hawks are one of the best teams in the league in 3-point percentage (seventh) at 37.2 percent, thanks in large part to Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll.

Kyle Korver is widely considered one of the best shooters in the game — maybe only second to Stephen Curry. Up to this point in the season, Korver is shooting an insane 52 percent from 3-point range. For reference, Korver set the 3-point percentage record in the 2009-2010 season with a clip of 53.6 percent. One of the reasons Korver is having such a tremendous year from three is that he is getting a ton of open shots off of catch and shoot opportunities. 61.3 percent of Korver’s three point attempts come off of catch and shoot chances. On these opportunities, Korver is shooting 52.9 percent; however, on his pull up attempts, he is only shooting 45 percent, and he shoots those just eight percent of the time.

Now, not to discredit Korver on his amazing shooting, but part of his incredible shooting percentages come from the offense that Coach Mike Budenholzer runs. This play was Korver’s very first three of the season. All he does is run from one corner to the other. Millsap sets a screen on the left block, and then Horford sets a flare screen that frees up Kyle for the open 3. Continue Reading…