The Atlanta Hawks continued their charge toward home court advantage with a 101-90 victory against the Milwaukee Bucks. Paul Millsap led the Hawks with 14 points and 13 rebounds, while Jeff Teague added another 18 points to the cause. For the Bucks, Jabari Parker poured in 19 points and eight rebounds.
Teague Time in the fourth quarter
When Dennis Schröder picked up his fifth foul just before the end of the third quarter, you knew that you’d see a heavy dose of Jeff Teague in the fourth quarter — and he delivered. Teague scored 12 points in the final period, in which he played 11 minutes and 47 seconds. Teague admitted, after the game, that he had “sucked” until the fourth quarter and made a concerted effort to attack the rim in the fourth.
“I sucked the rest of the game so I tried to do something to help the team when I was out there on the floor.”
“It was just me attacking. I think I was being a little casual just seeing what the defense would give me. I made a concerted effort to drive the ball.” — Jeff Teague
If you take a look at Teague’s fourth quarter shot chart, you’ll see the majority of his field goal attempts and makes came right near the rim.
This is what Hawks fans want to see — Teague showing aggression and driving toward the rim and utilising his electrical pace.
Paint points differential
The Bucks lead the entire NBA in points in the paint — averaging 50.3 points in the paint coming into last night’s game. The Hawks ranked 15th at 43.4 PITP per game.
Last night the two teams switched bodies. The Bucks scored 42 PITP and the Hawks scored 58. The Bucks’ offered very little resistance in the paint, but this wasn’t helped by the Hawks’ ball movement cutting open the Bucks’ defense. The Hawks’ ball movement was something that Bucks head coach Jason Kidd took note of, and said his team needs to trust each other more.
“Guys are trying to do it themselves and sometimes that happens”
“It’s moving the ball and trusting one another. Tonight we just didn’t trust one another.” — Coach Jason Kidd
Bucks forward John Henson (who finished with 17 points and 10 rebounds) said the Bucks need to take a leaf out of the Hawks’ book when it comes to moving the ball.
“I think as a team, we’ve got to see how they (the Hawks) play and making that extra pass. Giving up a decent shot for a better shot.
“We’re young so we’ll learn, but we’ve got to start watching the good teams and see how they move it. Try to copy them. We have all the tools and the talent to be really good. We don’t move the ball sometimes. One dribble, one shot. — John Henson
Take a look at the Hawks’ shot chart from last night.
The Hawks made 67.5% of their field goal attempts near the rim — 27 field goal makes in that zone. That’s incredible, and by incredible I mean incredibly poor from the Bucks.
The Hawks also held their own dunk exhibition last night. Look how easy it was for the Hawks to exploit this Bucks defense.
Thabo Sefolosha believed the key to limiting the Bucks’ points in the paint was limiting the number of second chance points in the second half — the Bucks scored eight second chance points in the first half.
“I think we gave them way to much in the first half. I think we definitely did a lot better in the second half as far as not giving them too many second-chance points and not getting too many layups.” — Thabo Sefolosha
Al Horford praised Atlanta’s guards and how they defended the pick-and-roll.
“Our guards really took the challenge and did a great job defending the pick-and-roll and keeping their man in front of them.” — Al Horford
Coach Mike Budenhozler had identified that the Bucks score the most points in the paint and wanted to limit the Bucks in that department.
“…I think they are (top) in scoring in the paint. We wanted to do our best to take that away.” — Coach Mike Budenholzer
Let down night for three-point shooting
Prior to this game, the Hawks had been shooting 40% from three-point range in their last six games. Last night, however, the Hawks had their let down game. They shot 5-of-32 from behind the arc — 15.6%. How amazing, given this stat, was it for the Hawks to clunk that many threes and still win the game by double digits.
Coach Mike Budenholzer outlined what the Hawks did to compensate for the lack of three-point shooting.
“To win a game when we don’t shoot the 3-ball that well, we get on the offensive boards, Jeff (Teague) has a pretty amazing stretch in the fourth quarter, Kyle (Korver) lays out on the floor for a loose ball, a lot of good things to find a way to win this game. We didn’t shoot it all that well and still found a way to get to 101 (points). A lot of positives.” — Coach Mike Budenholzer
With the addition of the Hawks’ victory last night, teams are now 16-36 when shooting 16% or less from three-point range.
Slowing down Milwaukee’s wings
One of Milwaukee’s strengths are their wings — Khris Middleton, Jabari Parker, and Giannis Antetokounmpo. Since the All-Star break, the three combine for 56.7 points per game. Last night, they combined for 40 points on 17-of-46 (36%) shooting.
The Hawks’ wings — particularly Thabo Sefolosha — did a great job in limiting their production. Coach Bud wanted the Bucks to be more of a jump shooting team.
“Trying to take away the paint and keep them on the perimeter. To do some degree, we had some success with that. Parker actually hit a handful of mid-range jumpers and Antetokounmpo had one or two. I think they are (top) in scoring in the paint. We wanted to do our best to take that away.” — Coach Mike Budenholzer
As Coach Bud eluded to, Jabari knocked down a few mid-range jump shots. Bucks head coach, Jason Kidd, wanted Jabari to be involved more in the action last night.
“We’ve got to get Jabari involved in more pick-and-rolls so he understands his teammates and what they’re going to do. Also when he posts up, getting him to understand how they’re going to play him in different situations.” — Coach Jason Kidd