RECAP: Grizzlies 108, Hawks 101

Bo Churney —  January 13, 2014

FINAL

MEM.gif(17-19) 108 – 101 (20-18)ATL

Key Performers:
M. Conley (MEM): 21 pts, 4 reb, 13 ast, 4 stl
P. Millsap (ATL): 21 pts, 6 reb, 6 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks were without Pero Antic (back spasms), but that wasn’t necessarily their biggest issue; if the Hawks keep relying on Mike Scott to keep trying to save the team after slow starts in the first quarter, they are going to have a bad time. The Grizzlies got out to a 9-2 lead in the first quarter and really held that kind of advantage for the entire game. The Hawks had the lead a couple of times, but for the most part it was always Grizzlies by single-digits. Mike Conley torched the Hawks on both ends of the floor and really outplayed Jeff Teague; Conley was a game-high plus-20 in a contest that was decided by seven points.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: The value of plus-minus can be seen with Conley’s rating above. The downside? Millsap played a good game… but was a minus-17. All that really means is that Paul was in and out of the game at inconvenient times. (like in for the 9-2 Memphis start, out for the Hawks’ run with Mike Scott in the game) Paul hit one three on the night, but it was late in the game when the Grizzlies had a big enough lead that the Hawks had to keep playing the foul game. 7.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: The Hawks probably could have used Carroll on Conley a lot more. Courtney Lee and a 33 year old Tayshaun Prince concern me a lot less than Conley, who has been playing great lately. Offensively, Carroll was efficient by scoring 15 points on nine shots and no turnovers. Since I usually harp on his transition game, he did fine in that aspect. 8.5/10

Gustavo Ayon: Gustavo did some work on the boards (seven in just 14 minutes), but I’m sort of perplexed as to why you start Gustavo over Elton Brand with the way Elton has been playing lately. Sure, Elton still got his minutes, but since the team keeps getting off to bad starts, they might want to consider starting off games with their defensive anchor and a more capable offensive player in the lineup. 4/10

Jeff Teague: Mike Conley is a very good defender, meaning he gave Teague some fits without Horford there to act as Teague’s security blanket. He started off kind of slow in the first half and he blossomed a bit in the second half… as did Mike Conley, only Conley’s transformation was on a bigger scale. Conley had 12 points, eight assists, and three steals in the second half and Teague and co. simply could not keep up with that kind of production. In the end though, a 1:1 assist:turnover ratio (five assists, five TOs) isn’t going to cut it from your starting point guard. 5.5/10

Kyle Korver: It took until the third quarter for Kyle to extend his three-point streak to 107 games, but he did get it done. Memphis paid a lot of attention to keeping Kyle off of the three-point line, meaning he got a mix of two-pointers and passing opportunities that he was able to convert into five assists. Of course, Kyle’s passing has been a bit more on display this season, and his three dimes per game are a career high. 7/10

Elton Brand: I sort of summed up Elton’s game a bit in Gustavo’s section, but I just want to reiterate how he’s probably the best offensive and defensive center that the Hawks have at this point. (Sorry, Pero; you’ll get your due when you can prove to be consistent on both ends of the floor) Elton had eight points on 4-for-4 shooting and two blocks in 18 minutes for the game. 8/10

Mike Scott: With Horford out for the year, Mike Scott is third on the team in win shares per 48 minutes (basketball-reference’s one in all stat) behind Millsap and Korver. He’s been playing really well as of late, although as I said in the opener, it would be nice if the team could stop relying on the second year PF so much. 8/10

Lou Williams: 0-for-6 from the floor and two turnovers? Ew. Not what the Hawks needed from Lou with how well Conley was playing. His number of bad games compared to good games is a ratio that is starting to get higher than the team needs it to be. 4/10

Shelvin Mack: Probably could have used more than 15 minutes from Shelvin, the team’s best defensive ball-handling guard, on a night where Mike Conley was going off. Shelvin had nine points, five boards, and two assists in his time, and definitely looked better than Lou and Jeff (again…) at times. 7/10

Mike Budenhozler: Rotations are always tricky, but I wasn’t a huge fan of the way the lineups worked for this game. More Elton Brand (assuming Elton’s body permits) and Shelvin Mack would have been nice. 6/10

Opposition: The Grizzlies did very well without Tony Allen and Marc Gasol. I’ve already raved enough about Conley’s play, but he really deserves it with how well he performed in this game. The newly acquired Courtney Lee also had a good game. The Memphis bench, however, was rough, save for Mike Miller, who hit a few clutch baskets in the fourth quarter. Former Hawks preseason player James Johnson also left his mark on the game with a strong and active defensive effort. 8/10

Next: Atlanta vs Brooklyn (in London!), Thursday, January 16th, 3PM start

Bo Churney

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