Archives For 2013-14 Season

Danny Ferry takes no breaks (likely)
Danny Ferry never sleeps (rumored)
Danny Ferry LOVES cap space (100% true)

Danny Ferry was hard at work this afternoon as he dealt away Lou Williams and super-afro’d-prospect Lucas Nogueira to the Toronto Raptors. The Hawks receive John Salmons and his friendly contract (team-option; likely to be waived).

ESPN’s Marc Stein provides some clarity in this here little “tweet” thing.

Iman Shumpert Available?

Bo Churney —  June 23, 2014

Late last night, ESPN’s Marc Stein had this to say about New York Knicks shooting guard Iman Shumpert:

With the Hawks desperately needing a third player that can play defense on the perimeter, this news definitely piqued my interest. Shumpert can effectively play defense on both guard positions, plus he can occasionally guard the 3-position on teams that are small. Shumpert’s offense has been extremely inconsistent over his three NBA seasons, but there is one factor that was in New York that makes me think this can easily be fixed on a team like Atlanta: former Knicks head coach, Mike Woodson. Continue Reading…

After capturing basketball fans hearts during summer league, there was a lot of excitement for Dennis Schröder’s rookie season. Schröder was supposed to be the future point guard of the Hawks. After Jeff Teague’s contract ran out, Schröder would be able to take the reigns. It’s where this excitement for his potential led to expectations for his rookie season getting a little high.

Schröder started off the season well, being featured in a lot of dual point guard lineups with Teague thanks to his tenacious defense. However, his shooting never improved. This and opposing teams getting a scouting report out on the rookie led to an extended rough patch for Schröder. His lack of ability to space the floor and struggles to run the offense led to Schröder being taken out of the rotation. He just wasn’t effective enough on offense to justify him being part of the rotation when players like Shelvin Mack were playing so well.
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What’s the first thing that comes to mind when someone mentions Kyle Korver’s name? In nine out of ten cases, it’s probably going to be that deadly stroke. A 42.5% career three-point shooter, Korver’s marksmanship is going to go down in the first line of his bio, forever. Such was the case this season, when Korver connected on a ridiculous 47.2% of his threes – which led the league – while breaking the NBA record (and by a mile) for most consecutive games with a three pointer made. This streak was as good a representation of Korver’s dedication to the craft as could be, and it captivated Hawks fans night in and night out.

“For Hawks fans, it became incredibly special as the season took a downward spiral. Injury after injury, game after game, the team was getting weaker and falling in the standings. But every game, Korver prevailed with this streak to give the fans something to watch, something to hope for, and something to get excited about the next time around,” wrote HawksHoop’s own Bo Churney when the streak finally ended. Continue Reading…

2014 Review: Elton Brand

Bo Churney —  June 13, 2014

“I played 42 minutes once, so I’ll give myself a [team MVP] vote.”

That quote really sums up Elton Brand’s season with the Hawks. In the season’s first month, Brand did not play in eight of Atlanta’s first 15 games. However, or the rest of the season, Brand would become a huge part of the Hawks’ rotation as the team dealt with devastating injuries to its frontcourt.

Brand came to the Hawks on a cheap contract — one year, $4 million — expecting to play any role that the Hawks would need from him: veteran leader in the locker room, guy off the bench when needed, etc. What he likely did not expect, however, was to end up starting 15 games, including a seven game stretch in February where the 15-year vet was playing over 34 minutes per game and was nearly averaging a double-double (9.4 ppg, 8.6 rpg) along with two assists and two blocks.

Defense is where Brand made much of his impact during the 2013-14 season. After Al Horford went down with his pectoral injury, Brand became the de facto defensive anchor on a number of nights and became the team’s best rim protector. Brand had a career-best block percentage with 4.9% (via Basketball-Reference) and kept opponents to just 50.2% shooting at the rim. The league average for defending the rim was around 53%, which of course does not include attempts such as breakaways that have no defender at the rim. (via Continue Reading…

Lance Stephenson?

Bo Churney —  June 10, 2014

In Zach Lowe’s super article today on Lance Stephenson, Lowe mentioned the Hawks as a potential landing spot for the unrestricted free agent.

This is not too surprising. After Kyle Korver and DeMarre Carroll, the Hawks have very little useful depth on the wing. This lack of depth led to Shelvin Mack and Lou Williams playing time at small forward, which represents a huge defensive liability for the Hawks.

Stephenson is a talented player. He can create offense for himself, has decent vision when it comes to play making, plus he possesses the athleticism and body size to be a defensive plus on the wing. Other positives with Stephenson are that he is only 23 and he has yet to play in an offensive system that even comes close to matching the dynamic offense run by Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks.

Of course, the question with Stephenson is not his talent, but his attitude and how much he should be paid. The Hawks could have around $10 million in cap space, which is within the possible range that Stephenson is expected to be paid this summer.

Would the Hawks front office, which models itself after the San Antonio Spurs, be willing to invest that amount of money in an enigmatic player? This front office let Josh Smith and Ivan Johnson, both somewhat volatile players, walk out in free agency. However, Smith and Johnson both filled a position that was not a completely dire need to the Hawks at the time. That is not the case at the wing with Stephenson. Because of Stephenson’s talent and super need on the wing, the Hawks should at least take a cursory glance toward the Pacer shooting guard during the offseason.

Shelvin Mack didn’t come into the 2013-14 season as a surefire second string point guard, but it certainly ended with him being one. Mack showed some good signs in his 20 games as a Hawk late last season after being picked up as a free agent, but seemingly held the third string position coming into this year with Atlanta’s drafting of import Dennis Schroder. The rookie struggled with transitioning to the NBA game, allowing Mack to step in and cement his role on the team. After five DNP-CD’s in the year’s first nine games, Mack went on to average 20.4 minutes over 73 games.

With all of Jeff Teague’s inconsistency this year, it was always a breath of fresh air whenever Mack checked into the game. Not because he’s a better player, but he’s one that you can expect to bring relatively the same thing every night out. It also doesn’t hurt that what he brought was solid shooting, few giveaways and the ability to play system defense.

The increase in playing time was quickly justified, as throughout the season Mack was as steady and reliable a backup as one could hope for. He ranked tenth among qualified point guards in assist-to-turnover ratio, as good a descriptor as any for his stability with the rock. Almost 30% of his possessions ended in an assist, a huge mark that’s a testament to his ability to a run an offense. Mack was rarely out of control with the ball in his hands, only forcing shots when the entirety of the team’s was stagnant or the shot clock was running down. Continue Reading…

As I began writing this review, I realized there was only one way to write about Paul Millsap. I decided to write in a way that reflected his style of play: creativity, finesse, and a subtle swagger. So without further ado, here is my first attempt at HawksHoop poetry.

Ode to Trillsap

Nine and a half million dollars
Makes you really want to holler
For the man we know as Paul.

He came in on a bargain
Quiet guy, not much jargon
Was just what we needed in Atlanta

A guy who is better than most
Dastardly good moves in the post
But wait! There’s more! He can shoot.

He could really stretch the floor
Creating space for Hor(ford)*
The season was starting quite well.

But then came the Cavs thriller
Big Al was sent to the chiller
An injury made Millsap the leader Continue Reading…

If they had a most surprising rookie award, it would be very difficult to find a player less deserving of it than Hawks big man Pero Antic. This is not to say Antic being a good player was surprising; the Macedonian big man was very successful before joining the Hawks when he played over in Europe. He won a few individual awards and was a part of the Olympiacos back to back championships in 2012 and 2013.

While successful in Europe, the expectations for Antic weren’t massive. He was expected to mainly play defense and utilize his above average shooting ability on offense. However, he was clearly not expected to be a large part of a big man rotation that already featured Al Horford, Paul Millsap, Gustavo Ayon and Elton Brand. This is evident during November and December when Antic averaged 10-13 minutes a game.

During this stretch of time Antic played some solid ball. During December, Antic had an effective Field Goal percentage of 51% and was good enough on defense to when players like Horford would come out there wasn’t too much of a drop. Antic actually had a Net rating of +20 showing his effectiveness on the court when he did play during the early part of the season.

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