Archives For Anthony Davis

Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks suffered their third defeat succession, falling to the New Orleans Pelicans at Philips Arena in spectacular fashion last night, 112-94. The Hawks were absolutely blown out of the water by the Pels, who were ready to ball from the off. They shot the ball well, they played some good defense and did most of their good work without Anthony Davis. The Hawks looked unprepared, didn’t play with effort didn’t play great defense and deserved to lose by at least 25 points. At the end of the game, Hawks color commentator Dominique Wilkins put it very well when he said “You’d like to say it was a valiant effort, but the effort wasn’t there all night long”.

Decisive first quarter

The Pelicans took control of this game very early on and they never looked back, outscoring the Hawks 34-14 in the opening frame while shooting 63% from the field and 57% from behind the arc as they powered to their best victory of the season.

Sure, they hit some tough shots and caught fire in that first quarter, but the Hawks could’ve done a much better job with their own offense. They shot 26% from the field and 9% from three in the first quarter, and I think a lot of this has to fall on the floor general, the point guard: Dennis Schröder. The point guard is supposed to facilitate/run the offense. With the system the Hawks run, there’s a little less emphasis on Schröder to do this the whole time, but he still has to run the system and he didn’t do that in the first quarter, and beyond.

The Hawks were trailing early and needed to get into their offense, get into some sort of flow. What’s a good way to do that? Oh yea, just jack up a three with 19 seconds of shot clock left.

Continue Reading…

After losing two straight over the weekend to the Charlotte Hornets and New York Knicks due to lack of energy, the Hawks returned home Tuesday night duplicating the same effort in a 112-94 loss to the New Orleans Pelicans. The worst loss of their season entailed trailing by 35 at one point, Anthony Davis scoring just 13 points, lack of ball movement and plenty of head hanging. This game out of the three felt different, especially on a night rapper Gucci Mane brought so much energy and enthusiasm to Philips Arena with his highly anticipated halftime performance; the Hawks looked lifeless.

Their top-ranked defense looked out of sorts and uninspired, which attributed to the Pelicans shooting their second-highest field goal percentage of the season.

“They were too comfortable, they were too free, they had a lot of open looks,” said Coach Budenholzer postgame. “We couldn’t get to their shooters or contain the ball. 112 points total, 34, 32, 39 [first three quarter Pelican point total] that’s just way too many points, that’s not good enough defense.”

In the Budenholzer-era, this team has consistently been one of the best defenses the league has to offer; Hawks opponents are fully aware they will have to earn their points the hard way. The hardest part of the night for the New Orleans players looked like tying their shoes and putting on the jerseys.

Not only did they take it to the Hawks, but also guys like Tim Frazier and E’twaun Moore penetrated through Atlanta’s defense without a second thought. One of the founding principles of this defense is to make nothing easy in the paint, contest everything. The Hawks didn’t do that on Tuesday night and the Pelicans’ ball movement — 319 passes made — gave the Hawks a bit of their own medicine.

“They just played great basketball from the beginning to the end,” said Dwight Howard. “The moved the ball, the ball didn’t stick at all. They did a good job of finding the open man and attacking the gaps.”

Now after the most embarrassing loss of the season, this team looks ahead to a tough five game road trip starting with the Indiana Pacers and ending with the new look Golden State Warriors. This type of loss might of came at the right time, early enough to send a message and refocus, not too late enough to panic. That focus will be tested on their first lengthy road trip of the season, especially since they are shooting worse (45.2-percent) and accumulating less assists (22.5 per game) away from home in six games this season.

In an 82 game season, losing streaks say more about a team than the contrary, particularly for a squad with title aspirations like the Hawks. How they respond in Indiana Wednesday night will more than likely set the tone for the remainder of the trip, but also give insight into how mentally tough they are at this point.

“I think this will be good for us,” said Howard. “We need this early test because it will make us stronger. I think we will come out of all of this, a really good situation. We have to take it one game at a time; it’s going to be a tough trip.”

It was fun while it lasted, but the Hawks’ 19-game winning streak finally came to an end on Monday night as the New Orleans Pelicans were able to defeat Atlanta by a score of 115-100.

Anthony Davis was the controlling force for New Orleans, constantly grabbing offensive rebounds and putting them back for easy 2s. Davis scored 29 points, grabbed 13 rebounds (eight offensive), and was his usual fantastic self on defense. One memorable play involved Jeff Teague in an isolation where he tried to crossover Davis and stepback for a 3-pointer… but Davis stayed in position and used his length to block the shot anyways.

Davis was not alone, as he got some great help from Tyreke Evans and Eric Gordon. Gordon was a thorn in the Hawks’ side all night, hitting a bevvy of open jumpers as Evans was continuously getting the Hawks’ offense to collapse. Evans had a double-double with 15 points and 12 assists and Gordon finished the night with 20 points on 7-for-11 shooting from the field.

Hawks’ head coach Mike Budenholzer has been often preaching that one of the biggest driving forces behind this streak from the Hawks is that they kept playing “Hawks basketball.” They moved with and without the ball on offense, flied around on defense, and maintained a composure where they always exuded the confidence of being the better team. Continue Reading…

The league’s best player so far this season — Anthony Davis — arrived in Atlanta with his Pelicans on Friday night and he left with a 100-91 defeat to the Jeff Teague-led Atlanta Hawks.

Teague’s hot night started off early, where he scored eight points in the first seven minutes of the game on a mix of floaters and layups. His magnificent play continued throughout the game, as Teague was weaving and scheming off of a bevy of screens, resulting in a 26-point, seven-assist night for the Atlanta point guard.

After giving up 126 points to the Raptors on Wednesday, the Hawks’ defense locked down on Friday, allowing just 28 points in the first half. Part of that was the Pelicans employing Austin Rivers as a starter, but Atlanta’s big men did a great job at contesting shots at the rim and the guards were fighting hard through screens to prevent New Orleans from getting open looks on the perimeter.

The Hawks were only 5-for-17 (29.4%) on 3s for the night, but an important make came late in the fourth quarter from DeMarre Carroll. With the shot clock winding down after a Davis block on Al Horford, Paul Millsap kicked the ball out to Carroll in the corner, who promptly sank a contested 3-pointer to push the Hawks’ lead back to 10 points. Continue Reading…

On July 27th, Paul Millsap was added to Team USA’s provisional roster due to players like Blake Griffin, Kevin Love, and LaMarcus Aldridge deciding to forgo participation in the FIBA World Cup this summer.

Little more than a week later, Millsap was announced as one of coach Mike Krzyzewski’s first round of cuts, along with Washington’s John Wall and Bradley Beal. Among those selected over Millsap were Denver’s Kenneth Faried and Brooklyn’s Mason Plumlee.

At the time, there was not too much of a problem with this. Even with Paul George’s gruesome injury, the lynchpin for Team USA seemed to be one thing: they still had Kevin Durant. The problem with this thinking today is that the team no longer has Durant to rely on.

It was announced on Thursday that Durant would withdraw from Team USA participation, citing mental and physical exhaustion. While there is some speculation that this might have something to do with Durant being offered a $300+ million endorsement deal with Under Armour, there is plenty of merit for Durant needing some time off. Continue Reading…

The Hawks had a good solid bounce back after their 14 losses in 15 game stretch, but their winning streak ended at five games on Friday night after Anthony Davis and the Pelicans swooped into town and scooped up a victory.

Davis was an absolute monster, putting on a magnificent showing with his all-around game including highlight dunks, and believe it or not, highlight mid-range jumpers. Davis was not afraid to delve into extreme difficultly on his shots, converting a couple of plays were he was fouled (one didn’t count) and another fade-away that started off from behind the backboard. The scary part? Davis commented after the game that he still felt “under the weather” and that he wasn’t 100% after missing the Pelicans’ last game against the Raptors. Davis finished the night with 34 points, 11 rebounds, and one very emphatic block on a DeMarre Carroll shot attempt.

For the Hawks, they were missing Kyle Korver, who was scratched right before the game due to a flare up of back spasms during his pre-game shooting routine. His absence really showed how well prepared New Orleans was for the Hawks’ three-point attack, as Atlanta went just 8-for-28 (28.6%) from behind the arc in this game. Credit to New Orleans coach Monty Williams, who after the game praised Korver as the “best to ever do it” in terms of shooting. He also praised the overall talent that the Hawks have from deep, expressing great difficulty in trying to guard the three-pointer when all five starters can extend their games out that far. Shelvin Mack started in place of Korver and he had a decent offensive showing with 18 points and four three-pointers, which were half of the Hawks’ makes from three-point land. Continue Reading…

2012-13 Record: 27-55 (14th in West)z-pelicans

Playoff Result: N/A

Key Additions: Jrue Holiday (trade), Tyreke Evans (sign and trade), Anthony Morrow (free agent), Jeff Withey (trade)

Key Losses: Robin Lopez (trade), Greivis Vazquez (trade)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 35-47 (10th in West)*

What to Expect: There comes a time where a team that has their franchise number one pick on the roster decides to finally build around them. With the Pelicans, the process seems to come sooner than later with how they built around Anthony Davis going into 2013-14. They acquired an All-Star in Jrue Holiday and former Rookie of the Year winner Tyreke Evans to tackle the perimeter minutes around the University of Kentucky big man. By paying such large amounts for both – along with the max contract they have in Eric Gordon – they look to not be a bottom feeder in their inaugural season under their new nickname.

Will these moves be worth it, is a much different question. The Cavs tried a very similar set of moves with Larry Hughes and Damon Jones for LeBron in 2005, and the Magic brought in a crew of characters such as Rashard Lewis and Vince Carter to help Dwight. Neither team were able to convince their stars to stay, as the cast they brought in seemed insufficient. It seems like such a far day away, but wondering what will make this experience different in New Orleans. Continue Reading…