Evan Turner Strikes Back

Buddy Grizzard —  February 12, 2015 — 3 Comments

Evan Turner took an inbounds pass, crossed over DeMarre Carroll and hit a beautiful runner in the lane with two tenths of a second remaining to give the Boston Celtics an 89-88 win over the visiting Atlanta Hawks.

The Hawks picked the wrong opponent to take a game off against. You may recall after the Hawks beat the Celtics 109-105 Dec. 2, Turner had some choice words about Kyle Korver’s defense. This game had an eerie resemblance to the Dec. 13 loss in Orlando in which the Hawks let off the gas. There was plenty of blame to go around as the Hawks let a 14-point fourth quarter lead slip away. The Hawks limp into the All-Star break losers of three of their last six after a record-breaking 19-game win streak.

Kent Bazemore hit a 3-pointer with 9:38 remaining in the fourth quarter to put the Hawks up 77-63. After a Tayshaun Prince layup, Mike Scott restored the 14 point lead with a thunderous alley-opp dunk set up by Korver. It was all downhill from there. Continue Reading…

As ESPN’s Marc Stein first reported — and the NBA later confirmed — Kyle Korver was named the injury replace to Dwyane Wade for the Eastern Conference All-Star team. Korver becomes the fourth Hawks on the team, joining teammates Jeff Teague, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford.

“We would like to thank Commissioner Silver for selecting Kyle as an All-Star,” said Hawks head coach Mike Budenholzer. “He is an integral part of our team and we are extremely proud that Kyle will be able to join his teammates Al, Paul and Jeff in being recognized this weekend. This is a positive reflection on all of the work the entire team, coaching staff and organization has put in this season.”

Korver currently leads the league in 3-point field goal percentage (52.8%), 3-point field goals made (160), and true-shooting percentage. (73.6%) Korver is currently chasing a 50-50-90 season, where he could become the first player in league history to shoot 50% from the field, 50% from 3, and 90% from the free throw line.

The All-Star game will take place on Sunday, February 15th in Madison Square Garden.

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…

According to Chris Vivlamore of the AJC, the Atlanta Hawks have traded the 15th overall pick in the 2014 draft, Adreian Payne, to Minnesota for a first-round pick:

Payne, who played four seasons at Michigan State, only got on the floor for 19 total minutes this season in three games. He averaged 1.7 points while on the floor for the Hawks, and spent most of this season in the D-League. In the D-League, he averaged 13 points, eight rebounds, and two assists per game playing with Austin and Fort Worth.

With Paul Millsap, Mike Scott, and Elton Brand on the roster, there was really no chance for Payne to get meaningful playing time. He is a versatile power forward that fit the system, but Atlanta felt getting a future pick for him was the best option.

According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo Sports, the first-round pick will come in 2017:

The Hawks now have an open roster spot, and according to Woj it could be used on Ray Allen or Gary Neal if Neal is bought out in Minnesota. Stay tuned as more details start to emerge.

This game could have definitely been billed as a trap game for the Hawks.

While the Timberwolves haven’t been good all year, they finally have gotten some of their injured pieces healthy. Ricky Rubio is back, Kevin Martin is back, and Nikola Pekovic and Shabazz Muhammad were both healthy for this game. With the Hawks on the second night of a back-to-back coming off of a loss against Memphis where Jeff Teague was hobbled with a slight ankle injury at the end, it would not have been too surprising if Atlanta got caught napping by a Minnesota team that still hopes to prove something this year.

Of course, this Hawks team is still proving that it is not one that is going to get caught napping very often.

Al Horford scored a season-high 28 points and DeMarre Carroll scored a career-high 26 points to pave the way for Atlanta in a 117-105 win over the Wolves in confines of the Target Center in Minnesota. The win kept the Hawks from losing consecutive games for the first time since mid-November, when the team dropped games to the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers.

It definitely looked early on like that streak could end, as Minnesota was aggressively attacking the boards and getting second chances on offense. The Wolves had 23 offensive rebounds in the game and turned them into 27 second chance points, constantly extending possessions where the Hawks had to reset after playing 15 or 20 second of good defense. The rebounds were a big reason why Minnesota was hanging even with the Hawks at halftime with a score of 57-53 in favor of Atlanta.

But the Hawks turned it around in the third quarter, led by Carroll’s 11 points in the period. Overall, the Hawks committed more to running in transition, scoring a whopping 14 fast break points in the quarter. To their credit, the Wolves kept grinding on the glass and getting second chance opportunities, but the Hawks were mostly able to shut them down and forced the Wolves into 7-for-21 shooting in the period for just 19 points. Continue Reading…

Tony Allen tipped in a Zach Randolph miss with 2:26 to play to ignite an 8-2 closing run as the Memphis Grizzlies beat the visiting Hawks 94-88. After Paul Millsap missed a runner in the lane, the Hawks appeared to catch a break as Allen was called for offensive basket interference. Allen redeemed himself on the next defensive possession by knocking the ball off Kyle Korver’s knee, forcing a backcourt violation and Hawks turnover.

Jeff Green then drew a foul on DeMarre Carroll and hit two free throws with 1:29 to play to put Memphis ahead 90-86. Jeff Teague missed a runner in the lane, then got caught leaning to his left, allowing Mike Conley to drive and hit a runner to put the Grizzlies ahead 92-86. Millsap missed a 3-pointer with 45 seconds to play and airballed another three with 13 seconds remaining as Atlanta failed to respond. Prior to Allen’s tip-in, the Grizzlies were 1-for-8 on their previous nine shots.

The Hawks endured brutal 2-for-12 shooting in the first half from the combination of starters Al Horford, Korver and Carroll. The team scored only seven points in the game’s first eight minutes. Dennis Schröder and Mike Scott replaced Teague and Millsap with 3:56 to play in the first quarter and immediately raised the team’s energy. Schröder had a layup, a 3-pointer and an assist on a Scott layup as the Hawks closed the quarter on a 9-4 run to draw within 20-16. Continue Reading…

The two best teams in the NBA clashed on Friday night and the Atlanta Hawks emerged with a 124-116 victory over the Golden State Warriors behind seven players with double-digit scoring.

“We’re a confident bunch, but it’s still a long season,” said Jeff Teague. “We’ve got another big test coming up for us against Memphis, so we’ll celebrate this win tonight and get ready tomorrow for Memphis.”

Teague’s sentiment was popular throughout the locker room after the game. In front of a large congregation of media that was asking about things such as the playoffs and Finals potential, the Hawks continuously responded with how there are still a lot of games to play and that the team still has a lot to prove. Despite that, this game goes a long way towards proving the capabilities of the Hawks. The Warriors have held the best point differential in the NBA and have been the best team in the NBA all season.

To anyone that did not watch this game, you should find a replay of it somewhere; it was tremendous. The pace was fast and both teams were trading haymaker 3s and highlight reel plays. For the Warriors, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson were providing a lot of offense, with the two combining for 55 points. Draymond Green was also fantastic, putting up a stat line of 12 points, 20 rebounds (10 offensive), and six assists.

But at the end, the day belonged to the Hawks, who are now 42-9 and reclaimed the best record in the league. As mentioned earlier, the Hawks did it with a team effort of seven guys in double-figures, with Dennis Schröder just missing out with the nine points he scored to complement his seven assists. Schröder had a great stretch in the fourth quarter, where he assisted on a lob to Al Horford, hit a 3, and hit another jumper that pushed the Atlanta lead to eight. 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…

The Hawks may have lost their franchise-record 19-game winning streak on Monday in New Orleans, but they were right back on track when the Washington Wizards came to Atlanta on Wednesday night. As soon as the game tipped off, news broke that the Hawks had won the Eastern Conference Player of the Month award for January. Not one player, but the entire starting lineup.

Any worries that the Hawks would be looking forward to Friday’s matchup against the Golden State Warriors were put to bed in the first quarter, in which Atlanta closed on a 16-3 run. The Hawks took a 13-point lead into halftime, but the Wizards were quick to bounce back, opening on a 20-10 run in the first six minutes of the third quarter and taking the lead late in the quarter.

Atlanta took a slim 77-74 lead into the fourth quarter but turned up the heat, culminating in the Hawks’ Dunk of the Year.

Continue Reading…

No, that title is not misleading. The NBA named the entire Hawks’ starting lineup as the Eastern Conference Player (players?) of the Month on Wednesday.

The Hawks’ undefeated record in January of 17-0 was an NBA record and the league responded by jointly naming Jeff Teague, Kyle Korver, DeMarre Carroll, Paul Millsap, and Al Horford with the monthly award. This was only the second time the league has given multiple teammates this award, with Steve Nash, Dirk Nowitzki, and Michael Finley accomplishing the same feat for the Dallas Mavericks in 2002.

“We appreciate the recognition of our starters’ play during this past month. It is reflective of all the work our entire team and organization has put in,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer. “We place a strong emphasis on having the right approach every day and making daily improvement. Collectively, we know that we have a lot more work to do this season and look forward to continue growing as a team.”

The Hawks currently sit at 41-9 — tops in the East by eight games — after beating the Washington Wizards on Wednesday night.