Archives For Bradley Beal

This Week In The Southeast the Atlanta Hawks had the second place spot in the East, and then they didn’t. While hte Washington Wizards and Hawks create distance from the rest of the division everybody else just seems to be fumbling around. The Miami Heat don’t look like they’re going to get any better and that’s a problem this early in the year. Meanwhile the Orlando Magic continue to stay competitive while the Charlotte Hornets try to right the ship.

Washington Wizards, 16-6, 2nd in the East, 3-1 this week WAS

The Wizards could have gone 4-0 this week but they lost a sluggish afternoon road game to the Boston Celtics. While losing to the Celtics is not good it’s very difficult to fault sluggish play in an afternoon game. The Wizards responded by ripping off three straight wins, including their best win of the year over the Los Angeles Clippers.

Atlanta Hawks, 16-7, 3rd in the East, 4-1 this week ATL

The Hawks win streak finally came to an end Saturday night due to a Tobias Harris game winner in Orlando. The loss was on a back to back and Orlando has been a pain for a lot of teams this year so that’s not a bad loss. Before that the Hawks were on a nine game winning streak and at one point were second in the Eastern conference. While this week didn’t feature any big time wins, the Hawks were able to keep their streak going all the way up to the final seconds in Orlando. Also of note this week, the Hawks had quite a few blowouts which is surprising since this team isn’t known for blowing opponents out of the building. It’s safe to say at this point that Atlanta is a good team.
Continue Reading…

The Hawks were in Washington on Tuesday night for the first game of a four-games-in-five-nights stretch and walked away with the win, 106-102. Jeff Teague led the way with 28 points and Mike Scott came up big off the bench with 17 points and seven rebounds, with 12 of those points coming in the fourth quarter.

The Hawks took a 41-39 lead into the break, but it was an uglier first half than the scoreline indicates. The referees were prominently involved on both ends, and when the teams weren’t being fouled, they were turning it over. There were 18 fouls called in the first half, split evenly between the two teams, and the teams combined to turn the ball over 23 times. Both teams shot under 40% in the first half, including a disastrous 1-for-7 performance from DeMarre Carroll and a combined 2-for-14 from the Wizards’ Paul Pierce and Bradley Beal. The two point guards led the way for their respective teams; Teague had 10 points and John Wall had 13 at the half.

Atlanta cleaned up their offense in the second half and continued to force turnovers from the sloppy Wizards guards. Wall and Beal accounted for 13 of the 25 Wizards turnovers and the Hawks took full advantage, scoring 32 points off of those 25 turnovers. Atlanta finished with 13 steals and 6 blocks, including a season-high four steals for Carroll. Continue Reading…

This Week In The Southeast, the Wizards just keep on winning, and here comes Bradley Beal. The Miami Heat had another up and down week, while their cross town rival, the Orlando Magic, look like they might be the true dark horse threat to cause problems in the Southeast. Meanwhile, the Hornets continue to struggle out of the gate, are they bad, or is it adjusting to a new roster.

Washington Wizards, 9-3, 2nd in the East, 2-1 this week WAS

Wizards fan have to be happy with the way they’re rocketing out of the gate this year. Washington is beating up on teams they’re supposed to beat, and that’s a good thing. The problem? They’ve yet to beat a single playoff team, with this week’s loss coming to the Mavericks. Beating up on bad teams is all fine and dandy, but the Wizards have had the easiest early schedule in the entire division.

Miami Heat, 8-6, 4th in the East, 3-2 this week MIA

The Heat were very up and down this week. They had a good win against Brooklyn, and a surprisingly tough Orlando Magic team, but they had a bad loss at home to the Milwaukee Bucks. While the Bucks aren’t an easy win anymore, a team of Miami’s caliber shouldn’t be losing to them.

Atlanta Hawks, 6-5, 5th in the East, 1-1 this week ATL

So….the Hawks. While falling out of second place had more to do with their lack of games this week, there is really no excuse for a loss at home to the Lakers. They managed to stay above .500 however, winning a home game against Detroit. Their next game is on Tuesday, lets see if the extra rest and practice time helps them figure out some of their early season problems. If not, a difficult four-in-five night schedule against four playoff contender could prove to be costly for Mike Budenholzer and the Hawks. Continue Reading…

It’s been almost two weeks since the NBA season began, and the Southeast division already feels very different from last year. While a couple teams have run into some bad luck early on this year with slow starts, the rest have proven why winning the Southeast is no easy task.

Washington Wizards, 5-2, 2nd in the EastWAS

The Wizards currently lead the division, but it’s hard to argue that it’s been impressive. All five of their wins come against teams that are projected to miss the playoffs, two of them alone came against a ridiculously injured Indiana Pacers team. Of course, you can’t take too much away from a team that came in and did what they’re supposed to do, but lets not praise a team with conference finals hopes on doing what they’re supposed to do, especially when their two losses have both come against likely playoff teams.

Miami Heat, 4-2, 4th in the EastMIA

While many had the Heat taking a huge drop this year, after losing LeBron James, Miami has still looked like one of the tougher team in the East. Their losses have come against the Charlotte Hornets and Houston Rockets, neither of those is a horrible loss to have on a resume. However, in their four wins, they have defeated both the Wizards and Raptors. Right now, they look like the best team in the division, but that could change when Washington gets Bradley Beal back. Until then, Miami has a chance to rack up some victories behind the incredible play of Chris Bosh. Continue Reading…

FINAL

WAS(26-28) 114 – 97 (25-28)ATL  

Key Performers:
J. Wall (WAS): 21 pts, 5 reb, 12 ast
P. Millsap (ATL): 21 pts, 11 reb, 4 ast, 3 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

This was essentially a repeat of the Indiana game on Tuesday, and as you know, that’s not a good thing. The Hawks allowed the Wizards to lead by as many as 20 in the first half, most of which was because of the open shots the Wizards were getting. Washington did a good job at forcing the Atlanta defense to collapse, meaning that Brad Beal, Trevor Ariza, and Martell Webster got a plethora of open looks. John Wall hit a few threes, too, which might as well signal that you’re not going to win. (Wall is a career 29% three-point shooter) At the end of the third quarter, Ariza hit a three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer to give the Wizards an eight-point lead that really killed the Hawks’ comeback effort. The Hawks had the Wizards lead down to one near the end of the third, but that Ariza shot just zapped the team of any momentum. The Hawks have now lost seven in a row and remain in massive injury trouble before the 3PM trade deadline.

Reaction grades [assessed 0-10]:

Paul Millsap: Millsap wasn’t as good as the stat line above may indicate. He didn’t play bad, but he missed a lot of open looks that definitely could have changed the tide of this game. The and-one finishes were nice and everything, but sometimes Paul needs to knock down the easy ones, too. 7.5/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier started again for the injured DeMarre Carroll and he didn’t have much of an impact against the Wizards. With Ariza guarding him, Cartier really had trouble finding open looks and really couldn’t do much to dribble out of the situation. Credit the Wizards for the strong defensive effort here. 4/10

Kyle Korver: Sort of ditto for Korver on the good Washington defense. Of course, Korver is a lot better than Cartier at getting shots up, so Kyle was able to knock down a couple of threes and extend his three-point streak to 122 games. Other than that, he wasn’t really too effective. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Teague had a stretch in both the second and third quarters that reminded us why the Hawks gave him $32 million. He was aggressive with trying to get into the lane and was willing to put a shot up. Outside of those stretches, however, he was fairly awful. He finished with 16 points on 16 shots and only five assists. He did leave the game late with an ankle injury, but he appeared to be fine after the game. 4/10

Elton Brand: If you had told me before the game that both Millsap and Brand would have 20-10 games, I didn’t think there would be a chance the Hawks would lose. Of course, they did, wasting a very strong effort from the 34 year old. The Hawks did a great job of giving the ball in good spots for Elton, and he was either able to finish or draw contact and go to the line. He even had a nice driving layup that was sort of reminiscent of his days with the Clippers when he was an automatic 20-10 guy. 9/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

WAS(8-9) 108 – 101 (9-9) ATL

Key Performers:
J. Wall (WAS): 26 pts, 6 reb, 12 ast, 5 stl
P. Millsap (ATL): 23 pts, 10 reb, 2 ast, 2 blk
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks once again found themselves in a second-half rut, but this time they couldn’t come back to take the victory as they did last game against the Dallas Mavericks. The Bradley Beal-less Washington Wizards, now at 8-9, built an 18-point lead in the third that was cut down to a one-possession gap multiple times in the final period, but the Hawks fell short. Turnovers, poor transition defense and another outstanding performance by the rising John Wall ultimately gave Atlanta their ninth loss of the season, now standing at 9-9.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: Horford had yet another strong outing, once again coming up big late with a slew of fourth-quarter buckets to keep the Hawks in the contest. His usual brand of defense and scoring was on display against the Wizards, finishing with 16 points on 7-13 shooting from the field and 2 blocks. Strangely enough, he totaled zero assists – only the third time all season he’s gone a game without recording one. Both of those previous contests were also losses. 8/10

Jeff Teague: Teague was a major disappointment tonight, being totally outplayed by fellow potential first-time All-Star John Wall. Jeff looked nothing like the point guard who seemingly made his leap in prior games this season, looking shaky on the offensive end and being a non-factor on defense. Wall blew by Teague like a human turnstile in transition at every opportunity, not that Teague could do much of anything about it. But maybe one foul? Or try not to gamble for a steal? Offensively, Teague struggled with decision making above all else. He looked tentative and the results resonated with the eye test. 15 points on 18 shots, 5 turnovers to 5 assists. I’m being hard on him of course, but this was his worst game of the season by far and it was pretty gruesome. 2/10

Paul Millsap: Millsap was a man-child on this night, leading the Hawks offense with a stupendous 4-5 shooting from downtown and 23 points. His interior presence was also felt on the offensive end, with Washington being unable to guard him as a roll man. His rotations were on point tonight, making fewer defensive errors then we’ve seen from him in the past. This is a great sign, which hopefully foreshadows a completely understanding of the system in place and more consistent outputs on that end. He too finished with 2 blocks alongside Horford. Paul also took on the rebounding load, collecting 10 of Atlanta’s 40 boards. 10/10

DeMarre Carroll: Carroll was a major piece of Atlanta’s comeback, with big transition attacks and a steady defensive night as well. He was only 3-9 from the field, but his 4 free throws, 8 rebounds and 2 steals tell another tale. Coach Bud relied on Carroll tonight with Kyle Korver and Lou Williams both out, playing him a team-high 37 minutes as a swingman doing most of the dirty work. Carroll stepped up to the plate.7.5/10

Cartier Martin: Cartier’s hot shooting streak continued on this night, making 2-4 long bombs taking the seat of the starting two guard slot. Martin finished with 12 points but a team low -13. This was due to his spotty defense, with the worst of it coming at the wrong time. Martin continues to shine as a preseason tryout turned rotation player, however I can’t help but wish a speedy recovery for both Kyle and Lou. Cartier is just much better suited for an off-the-bench sparkplug role. 6/10 Continue Reading…

Welcome to Weekly Southeast Division Recap, where I do the tanking so you can rest.

In this week’s Southeast recap we have resting, Josh Smith, Bradley Beal, tanking, and a battle for the worst record in the NBA.

Here’s how the teams did this week.
 

MIAMiami Heat, 1st, 59-16, 3-1 for the week

Now that the streak is over and the Heat have locked up the number 1 spot in the east the resting has begun. LeBron James and Dwyane Wade have been sitting out with mysterious “injuries” for a while now. They’ve still been winning however going 3-1 this week with their only loss coming to the Knicks.

 

ATLAtlanta Hawks, 42-35, 2nd, 2-2 for the week

The Hawks go .500 for the week once again. While the Hawks picked up 2 wins, it’s still disconcerting they can’t seem to beat any playoff teams. They had a great chance to beat the Knicks on national TV, but fell to Carmelo Anthony’s 40 points. What’s further shining through is how much the team seems to not need Josh Smith, who continues his less than stellar play. Continue Reading…

FINAL

WAS(2-14) 95 – 104 (11-5) ATL

Key Performers:

J. Smith (ATL): 23 pts, 15 rebs, 4 asts
K. Seraphin (WAS): 19 pts, 7 rebs, 2 blks
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Atlanta let Washington get into the game late, but they answered the Wizards’ run with one of their own, eventually retaking a double-digit lead in the win. For the 2nd straight game, the Hawks lead an impressive effort on the boards, with Smoove, Horford, and Zaza outrebounding the Wizards by themselves. (38-32) Of course, they still need to work on the free throws, because 63% from the stripe as a team just isn’t good. Atlanta has now won eight of their last nine games.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Josh Smith: Have I used the word “enigmatic” to describe Josh before? Oh, I have? Well then, let me tell you about this specific instance: Smoove was 4-9 on jumpers, which considering that one was a three, is actually efficient. However, he was 5-11 in the paint, as his touch on some of his post moves was just a little off. He gave a great effort on the boards (6 offensive rebounds) and his passing was on point. Overall great game from Josh. 9/10

Al Horford: Was a little slow to start, but got it going in the fourth quarter, when he and Kevin Seraphin were going back and forth. Only criticism I continue to have with him is that he continues to be a bit timid on offense; he’s more hesitant on the open 18-footer than Josh is, which can be very frustrating. 8/10

Zaza Pachulia: The Washington announcers were just raving about Zaza’s prowess for tipping out boards on offense. He had five offensive rebounds, which is really about the only thing the Hawks needed from him on O. On defense, however, he did get a little lost guarding Seraphin at times, which lead to Seraphin knocking down several open jumpers. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff was getting into the paint whenever he wanted, but he just had trouble finishing. His at the rim numbers are significantly down this year, which I hope is just a blip in his game and not a weakness of being relied upon more. 5/10

Lou Williams: Shot well when he was on the floor, but also turned it over a bit too much. I love Lou’s game, but the team does go into iso-Lou too much on consecutive possessions when he’s on the floor, which can easily cause the team to go stagnant. 6/10 Continue Reading…