Archives For Chicago Bulls

Happy Friday!

It’s that time of the week again, This Week in the Hawks Episode 5 covers a wide range of topics including:

  • The All-Star reserves and why Paul Millsap deserved his spot
  • The Hawks’ pending D-League move
  • Game recaps including the comeback against the Bulls, Wade’s and Butler’s comments
  • Stats from the week
  • A look at the Hawks’ upcoming fixtures

Jeff Haynes/NBAE via Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks managed — somehow — to escape the United Center with a comeback victory against the Chicago Bulls, 119-114. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 40 points while Dwyane Wade scored 33 points. Only one other Bull scored in double digits outside of Wade and Butler: Doug McDermot with 10 points.

The comeback/collapse

A basic summary of this game prior to this comeback: The Bulls led this game the whole way and the Hawks had done a decent job sticking within a run of the Bulls, but couldn’t mount that run to pull ahead/away from the Bulls because they had trouble slowing down Butler and Wade/getting stops. Summary over.

Dwyane Wade sunk a jump shot that put the Bulls up 110-100 with 3:02 remaining in the fourth quarter, leaving the Hawks staring down the barrel of a second consecutive defeat. Coach Bud called for a timeout at this juncture.

In what was an astonishing minute and 19 seconds the Hawks clawed their way back within a point of the Bulls, 110-109. The Hawks eventually won the game 119-114 behind a 19-4 run over the final three minutes having trailed by 10 points with just three minutes left.

The Bulls should’ve closed out this game. Why didn’t they? How did this happen? Let’s break it down.

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Kevin C. Cox/NBAE/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks just about escaped Philips Arena with a victory over the Chicago Bulls on Friday night, 103-93. Jimmy Butler led the Bulls with 19 points on 6-of-8 shooting, one of five Bulls who scored in double digits.

A great start and a real messy ending

What a game this was.

The Hawks blew the Bulls out of the water in the first quarter, outscoring the Bulls 35-13 in a quarter that was capped by a buzzer-beating three by Tim Hardaway Jr. followed by a shimmy.

“I like the ball in my hand in that situation. I kind of like to shoot far, half-court shots, when the clock is running down. I have confidence in myself that every shot I shoot is going in. Thankfully it went in.” — Tim Hardaway Jr.

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Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Second game of a back-to-back at home following a great win Cleveland… Perfect setup for a let down game, right? Wrong. Behind a total team effort (eight player scoring in double digits), the Atlanta Hawks won their second game in two nights with a 107-115 victory over the Chicago Bulls. Thabo Sefolosha led the team in scoring with 20 points while Dwight Howard added another double-double with 18 points and 10 rebounds.

Thabo and the bench

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The Atlanta Hawks completed the four game season series sweep of the Chicago Bulls with a 102-100 victory at the United Center.

The Bulls were led by Derrick Rose’s 20 point performance and Pau Gasol’s double-double — 19 points and 11 rebounds. Not to talk too much about the Bulls — with this being a Hawks page and all — but this was a crushing blow for the Bulls and their playoff hopes. They sit 2.5 games adrift of the Pistons — tied now with the Washington Wizards for ninth in the east  — for the eighth seed with just nine games remaining. Not good. Anyways…

A nervy ending, but a solid win

Boy, the Hawks sure know how to make you nervous. The Hawks seemed to have control of this game in the fourth quarter — up 13 with 8:37 remaining in the fourth. But the Bulls had other ideas…

The two guard lineup of Rose and Brooks caused some issues in the fourth quarter. They combined for 16 points and combined for a +/- rating of plus- 15. Teague guarded Brooks, and Korver was — for some reason — left to guard Rose and that didn’t go so well. Aaron Brooks also made some ridiculous plays in the fourth quarter and he really brought the crowd back into the game.

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No matter the record or seeding, some teams just give you a tough time.

For Atlanta, that has been the Milwaukee Bucks so far this season after defeating them three out of the four meetings last year. But this year has been a different story, as the Bucks have defeated Atlanta twice with both games defeats ending in overtime. This matchup has a boxing match feel to it, two contrasting styles, Rocky versus Drago.

This one ended with Atlanta’s arm being raised up last winning 101-90, capturing their first win over the Bucks this season.

“At the end of the day they are in the top two or three, if not the best at scoring in the paint,”said Coach Mike Budenholzer. “We wanted to do everything we could to take that away.”

Hawks only trailed momentarily in the first couple minutes of the game, but never did thereafter despite not shooting the ball well — 42.3% from the field and 15.6% from 3 — because of yet another strong defensive effort. Milwaukee’s length and athleticism are the main reasons the Hawks have such a difficult time running their offense. The Bucks decided this game to place more emphasis on the Hawks 3-point attempts, which meant more opportunities inside for Atlanta. They were able to capitalize, scoring 58 points in the paint.

On defense, Atlanta decided to pack the paint and limit the longer Bucks from points in the paint. Games like is just another testament to the Atlanta’s ability to win in a variety of ways, which will come in handy in late April or May. This time instead of their usual emphasis on aggressively guarding perimeter players, they showed the ability to clog the paint and still be effective.

“This is a team that has given us problems over the last couple years,” said Kyle Korver post-game. “They are a tough team for us to play against. We wanted to protect the paint and force them to shoot from the outside. It is important for us to grind games out against a team thats big when we are not shooting the ball that well.” Continue Reading…

The Atlanta Hawks snapped their three game losing skid last night, triumphing 103-88 over the Chicago Bulls at Philips Arena. Jeff Teague led the way with 19 points and nine assists, while strong performances from Paul Millsap (12 points, 13 rebounds, five blocks) and Al Horford (18 points, five rebounds, and four blocks) propelled the Hawks to a much needed win — their first victory since the All-Star break, when they also beat the Bulls.

Shorthanded Bulls

The Bulls came into Atlanta with only a segment of their regular rotations available to them. Jimmy Butler (knee strain), Derrick Rose (hamstring tendinitis), Nikola Mirotic (appendectomy), and Joakim Noah (shoulder) were all unavailable for selection last night. On the ESPN broadcast last night, it was noted that those four guys accounted for an average on 53.8 points per game — essentially 54 points a game that the Bulls did not have available to them.

Pau Gasol has also been under the weather of late, and his participation in this game was unclear prior to tip off. It seemed to translate into his game, as he could only manage 16 points on 6-of-22 shooting, but accepted that “it is what it is”:

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After a couple days of much needed rest, the Hawks returned home to get their first win in 16 days against the Chicago Bulls. In the past three games, Atlanta has had no problem scoring the ball, but it has been their most reliable asset, defense, that hasn’t looked quiet the same.

Today, shooting just 42% from the field and 20% from 3, they buckled down and showed why they are currently the third ranked defense in the NBA.

“Before the All-Star break, I thought we were playing great defense,” said Kyle Korver after a 103-88 win over the Bulls. “If you look at all the analytics and rankings, I think we were number one in the NBA for a month and a half. We were playing great defense. We came out of the break and had a slippage. So it was good for that to end and get back tonight.”

The Bulls were under a constant barrage all night, as both units from the Hawks capitalized on the absence of Derrick Rose and Jimmy Butler. Aaron Brooks and E’twaun Moore attempted to hold the fort down, but never seemed comfortable and the lack of chemistry could not be more obvious. The two, who are viewed more as scorers than distributors, were accountable for nine of the teams 21 turnovers. Continue Reading…

The end of the All-Star break marks the beginning of a hugely significant time of the season — the stretch run. It’s crunch time across the NBA for many teams. You have teams gunning for the number one seed, teams gunning for home court advantage, teams gunning for the playoffs, and you have a few teams gunning for the lottery.

The Atlanta Hawks can be categorised into the second group mentioned — gunning for home court advantage. But they’ve ran into a wall. They’re currently on a three game losing streak and have lost five of their last six games. They currently occupy the seventh seed in the Eastern Conference, with the Charlotte Hornets (who have been hot of late) sitting just two games behind the Hawks having played two games less. It goes without saying that the Hawks have to string together W’s down the stretch if they want to obtain home court advantage. What are they key games/road trips/stretches that the Hawks face as the season winds down?

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The Atlanta Hawks bounced back from their disappointing overtime loss to the Orlando Magic with a blowout victory on the road against the Chicago Bulls, 113-90. The Hawks now head into the All-Star break with a 31-24 record, good enough for fourth place in the Eastern Conference. Tiago Splitter once again sat out with a hip injury, while All-Star Jimmy Butler also missed out with a knee strain that will keep him from participating in the All-Star Game on Sunday.

Heading into the All-Star break on a positive note

It’s been a tough month and a bit for the Hawks. After heading into the new year with a 21-13 record, (prior to this game) the Hawks have gone 9-11 since. Heading into this game, the Hawks had lost five of their last eight games. It was, therefore, important that the Hawks head into the All-Star break on a positive note (with a win) and that’s exactly what they did — blowing out the Bulls in their own building.

In addition to all of this, you have the trade chatter going on (which has gotten very loud in Atlanta over the last few days), with Al Horford and Jeff Teague in the depths of trade rumours. Trade talk can distract, even derail, a team from playing their best basketball, but this was not the case at all for the Hawks last night. They didn’t look distracted, they looked together. That made this road win even more impressive.

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