RECAP: Hawks 97, Nuggets 92

Bo Churney —  March 16, 2014


DEN(29-37) 92 – 97 (29-35)ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 24 pts, 11 reb, 5 ast, 3 stl, 2 blk
K. Faried (DEN): 25 pts, 7 reb

*ESPN’s 30 for 30 music plays* What if I told you that the Hawks were playing a game and had a big lead… then almost threw it away because of an awful third quarter. Wait, what’s that? You’ve heard this story before? Multiple times? Well then, you now know the script for how this one went down. Atlanta led 53-37 at halftime and even pulled away by as many as 21 early in the third quarter. However, the offense stopped working and the Nuggets were able to capitalize in transition and off of threes, pulling the game to just 77-71 by the end of the third. However, the Hawks were able to overcome Denver taking the lead for a few moments in the fourth to win the game, which was their third straight victory.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: An absolutely dominant overall stat line from Paul Millsap, though he could have been more efficient from the field. Millsap was 6-for-17 shooting, but he got to the free throw line 16 times, making 11 of those attempts. The 16 free throw attempts are the most by a Hawk in over three years, surpassed by Joe Johnson’s 17 attempts in a game against the Clippers in January 2011. 9/10

Jeff Teague: I usually harp on how awful Jeff’s defense is, so I will say this: he did a very good job against Ty Lawson. Lawson was 0-for-12 from the field, and while some of that was Lawson looking lethargic, a large part of it was Teague making things difficult for him. Teague also had a double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, and he also had the game clinching rebound after he missed a free throw late in the game. (he really needs to work on the late-game free throws thing) 9/10

Pero Antic: 41 seconds left and Pero did it again. With the shot clock winding down, Pero took an off-balanced shot from the corner that was more of a prayer than a confident stroke. Didn’t matter, the shot went down and gave the Hawks a 93-92 lead at the time. Pero also got a hand on that rebound that Jeff Teague came down with after the aforementioned missed free throw. Strong night from Pero, who had 16 points. 8/10

DeMarre Carroll: Three Hawks players had double-doubles in this game: Millsap, Teague, and DeMarre Carroll, who had 11 points and 10 rebounds. Now, I’m generally not a fan of DeMarre taking 13 shots in a game, but part of that was a team failure as DeMarre was forced to put up a shot late in the shot clock on multiple occasions. 8.5/10

Kyle Korver: Kyle has made 14 of his last 16 three-point attempts, including a 4-for-4 effort against Denver. He’s currently up to a league-high 49% from three and is also the league-leader in true-shooting percentage. Simply put: Kyle is currently having one of the best shooting seasons of all time. 8.5/10

Elton Brand: Elton wasn’t as good as his usual self, but he still did a few good things. He had a couple of blocks and he was, as always, a heavy communicator on defense. Elton’s biggest problem for the game will be discussed in the next section. 6/10

The rest of the bench: The starters were absolutely fantastic in this game, with all of them being a plus-17 rating or better. If you notice, the Hawks only won by five points, which goes to show just how bad the bench was. Shelvin and Schröder couldn’t do anything to get anybody open, Mike Scott wasn’t really doing anything, and Cartier Martin missed all three of his wide-open three-pointers very badly. Just all four of these guys were heavily outplayed by Denver’s bench and it nearly cost the Hawks the game. Hopefully Dennis isn’t forced into taking seven shots next time around. 1/10

Coach Budenholzer: Budenholzer saw how badly his bench was playing and tried to do his best to get his starters as much rest as possible without losing the game. DeMarre played 42 minutes and the other starters (save for Pero) all played 36 or more. If you’ve noticed, Bud doing this is very unusual, as in most games he tries to get his guys a proper amount of rest. Good thing he figured that wasn’t going to work in this game. 8/10

The opposition: Their starters were super bad, but they were almost bailed out by Aaron Brooks, JJ Hickson, and Evan Fournier. I’m not sure if that second part is a good thing or bad thing for Denver. Also, I would like to say that Kenneth Faried played well, but… um… his defense kind of offset his offensive success. 6/10


Next: Atlanta at Charlotte, Monday, March 17th

Bo Churney

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One response to RECAP: Hawks 97, Nuggets 92

  1. Bring lou back