Archives For 2012-13 Season
The Hawks lost a nail-biter in San Antonio on Wednesday night, coming up short on the final possession of the game in a 92-90 loss. The loss marks Atlanta’s eighth consecutive loss to the Spurs, who rode their huge rebounding and free throw disparities to the win. The Spurs shot 38 free throws to the Hawks’ 11, though San Antonio left a lot of points at the stripe with 11 misses. The Hawks were down as many as 17 in the first half and fought back to take a late lead, but couldn’t find the winning touch despite a great night from DeMarre Carroll, who had 17 points on 7-for-13 shooting to go along with five rebounds.
The first half went about as poorly as the Coach Bud and the Hawks could have hoped, yet they went into the break down just 10 points after a late run in which all five starters put the ball in the basket in the last 2:31 of the second quarter. The Hawks shot 16-for-45 in the first half, including just 2-for-8 from 3. Kent Bazemore gave the Hawks six minutes off the bench in the first half and provided some good defense on Tony Parker, who had his way otherwise with 13 points in the first half.
Atlanta cut the San Antonio lead to six at the end of the third quarter behind strong play from the bench. Dennis Schröder hit his first field goal of the season off a nice feed from Thabo Sefolosha, and the addition of Sefolosha and Bazemore in the latter half of the quarter really turned up the heat on the defensive side of the ball. Continue Reading…
Josh Smith nearly averaged 20 points and 10 rebounds in the 2011-12 season. He was already known as a great defender and with Al Horford and an array of three-pointer shooters, it appeared as if he’d be able to play to his strengths more than he had ever had in his career.
Smoove was also in a contract year and still had the stigma of being snubbed from previous All-Star games. Those things seemed to be coming together in a perfect storm to create what should’ve been a great year from a rising player…
But it crashed and burned.
It all started at media day. In Joe Johnson’s place were Kyle Korver, Anthony Morrow, DeShawn Stevenson, and John Jenkins. Jeff Teague, Devin Harris, and Al Horford could all play on the perimeter and let Josh dominate on the block.
Instead, Smoove nicknamed himself “mid-range shawty”. Oops.
What we got was 674 jumpers, which accounts for more than half of Smith’s field goal attempts. Smith took a career-high 201 three-point attempts and barely broke the 30% shooting mark from that range. To top it all off, Josh apparently forgot how to shoot free-throws, putting up a career-worst 52% from the stripe. So much for all of that money he was hoping for…
There’s still some good stuff in that stat sheet. As he’s always been, Continue Reading…
Coming into this season, Jeff Teague had a lot of expectations that he was expected to reach. With Joe Johnson out of the picture, would he be able to run the offense? Could he take that “next step” that is so often talked about of rising players?
While this was Teague’s fourth season, something was often forgotten about Jeff: this was only his second season as a starter, and really his first where he would be operating on a larger leash. Even if he had Devin Harris – and Lou Williams for the first half of the season – to back him up, Teague would still be expected to be the team’s leading playmaker and one of the leading scorers.
In many ways, Teague lived up to these expectations. Continue Reading…
For an NBA team, spacing is a helluva drug.
When the Hawks traded for Korver last July, it signaled the ultimate end of isolation plays. Sure, you could say that trading Joe Johnson did that, but this deal was more of the final nail in the coffin. You see, you can’t run an isolation offense when Korver is on your team; he’s simply too good at what he does to let you do that. (as evidenced by his 73-straight games with a three-pointer) With Korver on the roster, the Hawks quickly became one of the most flex-heavy offensive units in the entire league.
As I harped on all season, Korver was always Continue Reading…
Tolliver had almost no expectations of doing anything coming into this season; he was the last one to make the roster over Damion James and James Anderson. However, due to injuries, he found himself in the rotation for most of the season and was actually a positive asset for the Hawks in the playoffs.
The stats aren’t really kind to Tolliver and there’s a reason why: he wasn’t exactly a star player. For most of the year, he struggled with his shot and wasn’t a good enough of a rebounder to warrant him getting more minutes. At the time, the Hawks were mostly healthy in the front court, meaning his minutes were few and far between.
After Zaza suffered his Achilles injury, though, Tolliver’s minutes increased. Before the All-Star break, Anthony only played in 34 of 51 possible games and was only averaging 12 minutes per game when he did play. After the break, he played in almost every game and was averaging 20 minutes. Continue Reading…
There was a time where I hated the Devin Harris trade.
It was early in the season. Devin had quickly wowed the Atlanta crowd in his first game, scoring nine of the team’s first 15 points. He did, however, finish that game with just nine points.
That was the start of what was a rough couple of months for Devin. He couldn’t hit a shot, was clanking free throws left and right, and quite plainly looked like he just didn’t fit in the rotation. Then he got hurt, missed about a month, and it seemed quite clear: the Hawks could live without Devin Harris, and may have actually been better off with Marvin Williams.
The problem for Devin is that his role on the team was still unknown at that point. Between Jeff Teague, Anthony Morrow, Lou Williams, John Jenkins, DeShawn Stevenson, and Kyle Korver, minutes weren’t something that were always guaranteed. At some points, it felt like he’d be the one left out of the rotation.
However, injuries started to effect the rest of Atlanta’s guard rotation. Korver had back spasms, DeShawn started having problems with his knee, Morrow was falling out of the coaches’ favor, and of course, Lou tore an ACL. All of these factors led to an increase in Devin’s minutes and a more defined role: the team’s second ball-handler and primary guard defender. Continue Reading…
According to Yahoo! Sports, the Hawks are in conversations with Spurs’ assistant Mike Budenholzer to become the next head coach of the team.
The Atlanta Hawks are engaged in serious talks with Spurs assistant Mike Budenholzer to make him head coach, league sources tell Y! Sports.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) May 28, 2013
As of 4:10PM, AJC beat writer Chris Vivlamore reported that the Hawks have indeed hired Budenholzer.
The Hawks have hired Mike Budenholzer as head coach. #ATLHawks
— Chris Vivlamore (@ajchawks) May 28, 2013
This could be considered a coup for the Hawks. While GM Danny Ferry did used to be under the employ of the Spurs, it was unknown if he would be able to lure Budenholzer away from San Antonio; Budenholzer was supposed to be the successor to legendary Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. Budenholzer had been with the Spurs since Popovich’s first year in 1997.
Lou was signed in the offseason to a 3-year/$15 million contract and immediately became a fan favorite. Not only was he from Atlanta, but he played the part well; he worked within the community and had the guys doing public practices in HS gyms. In about a month, he had probably done more in Atlanta than Joe Johnson did over a seven year span.
His first few games in an Atlanta uniform only added to his status. In his sixth-man role, he was ready at any time to become the team’s number one option on the court. Unlike the passive Johnson that he was essentially replacing, Lou let his emotions be seen on the floor and his fearlessness in the paint gave something that the Hawks desperately needed: a guy that could live at the free throw line. Unfortunately for Lou and the Hawks, his season ended about halfway through the year, when he tore his ACL in Brooklyn against the Nets.
While his per-36 numbers are great for a third option on a team, the overall Continue Reading…
In their first round loss to the Indiana Pacers, the Atlanta Hawks disappointed across the board. A stagnated offense and a Swiss cheese defense doomed Atlanta in the first two contests, but after a change in head coach Larry Drew’s strategy, hopes for a Hawks upset rose in two straight home victories. Eventually, they collapsed and the team inevitably fumbled early into their postseason. Plenty of the team’s failures can be placed on individual players, and one of the most appalling of disappearances in this first round defeat was of Jeff Teague, the starting point guard of the Hawks.
Although he’s yet to make himself a big name in the league, (an infuriating trend for talented Hawks players) Teague’s performance in these playoffs was far less than desired or expected. Teague’s season has shown improvement in his facilitating game when compared to previous exhibitions, yet when the playoffs started, Jeff floundered. This comes as a shock to any of Teague’s followers, as he’s been known to enter “Playoff Teague” mode once the regular season ends. This essentially means he takes on an increasingly aggressive role, upping his game to new heights.
This wasn’t the case here in 2013, partly due to Indiana’s strong defense, but also to Teague’s reluctance to attack the paint. Indiana ranks 11th in the league in fewest points allowed by opposing point guards, and fifth in lowest opposing point guard FG%. This strong point guard Continue Reading…