Archives For Chris Paul

The Hawks picked up their fifth straight victory over a playoff team on Tuesday night by defeating the Los Angeles Clippers by a score of 107-104. The Hawks have 14 of 15 games after a 7-6 start to the season.

“In these last couple of weeks, we’ve shown improvement on the defensive end of the floor,” said head coach Mike Budenholzer. “As far as the thing we point to the most, the fact that we have different guys who step up every night and make big plays throughout the game. We’ve got a good team.”

Atlanta took a quick lead in the first quarter behind 18 points in the paint and a balanced scoring effort from the starters. The Hawks then stretched their lead out to as many as 10 in the second quarter before the Clippers came roaring back, responding with a 17-0 run to give L.A. a 47-40 lead with four minutes to go in the half. The Clippers increased their lead to as many as 10 before Paul Millsap hit a couple of free throws to close the half with 57-50 ATL deficit.

Things looked extremely bleak to start the second half, as the Clippers opened with back-to-back 3-pointers from Chris Paul and a put-back dunk from DeAndre Jordan to extend their lead to 13 within a couple of minutes. The Hawks sustained the blows, however, as Al Horford hit a couple of jumpers and DeMarre Carroll exploded for 10 points in the quarter to revitalize the Atlanta crowd and help whittle the Clipper lead down to just two points by the end of the quarter. Continue Reading…

FINAL

LAC(44-20) 109 – 108 (26-35)ATL

Key Performers:
B. Griffin (LAC): 27 pts, 8 reb, 5 ast
K. Korver (ATL): 17 pts, 4 reb, 6 ast, 2 stl
[FULL BOX SCORE]

Another depressing loss for the Hawks, who just can’t seem to catch a lucky break over this stretch of 14 losses in 15 games. The Hawks were doing well in the first half — forcing turnovers and making the extra pass — but definitely left the Clippers open far too often. In the second half, it was more of the Blake Griffin show, as Griffin bullied his way to a game-high 27 points against whoever the Hawks threw at him. The Hawks still had a chance to win or tie late, however, but Jeff Teague missed a free throw with 1.2 seconds left that doomed the Hawks.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Paul Millsap: Once again, Millsap’s defensive presence was welcomed back as he was forcing a lot of turnovers (five steals), but in the man-to-man concept, he could not contain Blake Griffin; Blake is just too big and too athletic for Millsap, who boasts decent size and ability himself. On the other end, Griffin and DeAndre Jordan also did a good job at keeping Millsap away from the rim. 6/10

Jeff Teague: Jeff… Jeffrey… just… how? Jeff had a nice floater to tie the game at 107, but with the chance to tie the game and likely head into overtime, Teague choked on the first free throw by missing, then again on the second by inadvertently making it. (he actually banked it in!) For his entire game, there wasn’t much to be impressed with, as to put it simply, Jeff Teague is not as good as Chris Paul. 4/10

Pero Antic: Pero was re-inserted back into the starting lineup, finally giving the Hawks their regular post-Horford injury lineup for the first time since January. Pero was a key offensive player, as he scored 16 points and made three three-pointers, forcing the Clippers to extend out to the arc to cover him. 7/10

DeMarre Carroll: DeMarre actually did extremely well, scoring 19 points on 14 shots. However, even with that efficient performance, I’m still not sold on DeMarre Carroll being the team’s leading shot taker. Sure, it almost worked here, but the point is that the team shouldn’t be at a point to where it is looking at DeMarre to make things happen off of the dribble. 7/10

Kyle Korver: Believe it or not, the Clippers did a good job and keeping Korver contained for most of the game. Kyle did have 17 points, but he only took seven shots, making six. Some may see this as a failure, but keeping Korver to just seven shots when he’s hitting like that is actually better than you might thing. Kyle was also making a lot of the right passes, coming up with six assists against only two turnovers. 7.5/10 Continue Reading…

FINAL

       LAC(12-7) 97 – 107 (10-10) ATL

Key Performers:
P. Millsap (ATL): 25 pts, 9 reb, 6 ast, 3 blk
B. Griffin (LAC): 24 pts, 7 reb, 4 ast
[FULL BOX SCORE]

The Hawks came ready to play tonight, that’s for sure. The Clippers didn’t make a single three in the first half and they had trouble keeping Paul Millsap under control from destroying them all game long. While a late Clippers run closed it to 79-74 with 11 minutes to go, the late efforts weren’t enough as the Hawks piled a nice lead back on and closed the game out with ease. I’ll be honest, it was nice having a game that didn’t go until 0.4 seconds left. I still have fingernails to chew on.

Reaction Grades: [assessed 0-10]

Al Horford: On a night where Big Al was 2-for-10 outside of the paint, he provided a solid presence down low. While he wasn’t main course of the Hawks “meal” this evening, he was certainly my favorite side dish. Lil’ Tito (Because I’m new here at HH, I’d like to warn you that I tend to call Al Horford “Lil’ Tito” more often than not) had a relatively quiet 21 points and 9 boards in a night where only had one turnover and also recorded a defensive rebound while sitting down. True story. 7.5/10

Jeff Teague: Five personal fouls tonight for Teague in a game where he only attempted five shots. Yikes. He had four turnovers in the game, but, in my opinion, only two of them were really his fault. One pass mishandled by Korver and a silly offensive foul (where I think Jamal Crawford just slipped) don’t count in my box score. Oh, and his pick-and-roll defense was sub-par tonight (Hint: I used “sub-par” because I didn’t want to hurt his feelings). Other than that, Jeffrey scored six points and dropped six dimes. He had a nice isolation three pointer that impressed me, but other than that, he was “eh” in a game where he didn’t need to be great. 4.5/10

Paul Millsap: Trill recognize trill, as it has been all season for Paul Millsap. The 9.5 million dollar man battled it out with Blake Griffin (until Blake got scared and had Jared Dudley switch over). In what I believe to be his second-best game of the year, Millsap put up a very solid stat line of 25 points (on 60% shooting), nine boards, six assists, three blocks, and one steal. I’m going to dock him just a touch because of what Blake Griffin did on the other end, but you have to tip your hat to Blake for making some tough, awkward shots down low. 8.5/10

DeMarre Carroll: The Junk Yard Dog was must’ve been feeling trashy tonight because he was in his element all night long. He made both of his three-point attempts and shot 4-for-6 overall. 12 points and seven rebounds is exactly what I want to see from DeMarre. He must’ve read Bo’s recap of the Spurs game, because his transition game was flawless. Well, flawless as in “he didn’t have any chances to over-dribble”. Actually, he didn’t have any fastbreak chances at all. He also shot a perfect 2-for-2 from the free throw line, something Paul Millsap can’t say tonight (0-for-2). 6/10

Kyle Korver:The Streak is back! The Streak is one away from owning the record! The Streak is the only reason Kyle’s father came to watch his game tonight! While the last statement is probably, no, make that definitely not true, what is true is that “The Streak” is a nickname I am seriously considering. It was just another hot shooting night for Korver, hitting six treys and scoring 23 points. Ho hum. He still needed 51 more points to catch his mom’s career high. So, with that information handy, do we consider tonight’s performance a family failure? All jokes aside, Kyle played a very nice game and his hands were all over the place, as per usual. He’ll go for the record on Friday as he tries to make it his 90th consecutive game with a triple. 7/10 Continue Reading…

HH Team Preview: LA Clippers

Chris Barnewall —  September 17, 2013

2012-13 Record: 56-26 (4th in West)z-clippers

Playoff Result: Lost in First Round

Key Additions: Chris Paul (re-signed), JJ Redick (trade), Jared Dudley (trade), Doc Rivers (coach)

Key Losses: Eric Bledsoe (trade), Caron Butler (trade)

Predicted 2013-14 Record: 58-24 (1st in West)*

What to Expect: The Clippers made some big splashes this offseason. The additions of JJ Redick and Jared Dudley improved their team immensely, but they still have some problems. While the offense is going to be hot fire, the defense is going to suffer at times. The team will be able to rain 3s and move the ball with ease, but how will all these players mesh with their new coach in Doc Rivers? They also have a bench to be concerned with.

It is in my opinion that no team made a better trade over this offseason than the Clippers when they traded Eric Bledsoe and Caron Butler for JJ Redick and Jared Dudley. Two incredibly efficient players, Dudley had an effective Field Goal percentage last season of 54% and Redick had an eFG% of 52%. The two can absolutely stroke it from 3 and are awesome off the ball. They are going to add a lot of movement to the Clippers this season and that’s got to make Chris Paul happy. They aren’t other worldly defenders but Redick and Dudley decent enough on defense. Redick will chase your man all over the court with his speed and Dudley will use his strength to matchup with anybody that tries to overpower him. Continue Reading…

Of course, with Chris Paul likely off the table and Dwight Howard expected to sign elsewhere, eyes turn to Atlanta’s own free agent in Josh Smith.

On Sunday, Josh met with the Detroit Pistons, who apparently made a rather intriguing offer.

Detroit would be a rather strange fit with Smoove. Andre Drummond and Greg Monroe are good players, but both work best when they are closer to the basket, meaning that Josh would again find himself out on the perimeter. Of course, after Detroit’s last free agency debacle (Ben Gordon and Charlie Villanueva), they are definitely looking to sign a guy that’s actually good this time around. Even with as much criticism as Smoove takes, he’s still a good player.

Reports say that Smith returning to Atlanta isn’t out of the question. According to Yahoo!’s Marc Spears, Smith is very respectful of Mike Budenholzer’s tenure under Gregg Popovich and would still be very open about returning to his hometown team. With CP3 and Dwight likely out of the equation, the Hawks are going to have to offer money to someone and all indications are that Smoove may be that someone.

Anthony Tolliver took to Twitter today and asked his 25K followers to ask whatever they wanted. Here are some of the highlights:

Anthony isn’t a huge fan of Joey Crawford… or his mother.

Come on, Tolliver, get with the game; everyone’s heard the new Kanye album already.

AT was a huge fan of his Hawks teammates this year.

Continue Reading…

ESPN’s Chris Broussard reported that Lakers center Dwight Howard and Clippers guard Chris Paul have been in contact about playing for the same team next season.

Obviously this is interesting for the Hawks, as they are one of the few teams that could work their cap number down low enough to sign both Paul and Howard. Any other team in the league (Dallas, Houston) would have to make significant moves involving trades to get to that number. The Hawks, however, are the only team in the league that can get to that number through the simple renouncement of all it’s free agents; they only have Al Horford ($12 million), Lou Williams ($5.25 million), John Jenkins ($1.25 million), and their two first round draft picks (about $1.3 million a piece) as committed salaries for next season.

To be perfectly clear, this scenario is still highly unlikely. Even if Dwight and Paul want to play together, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they will be next season. Sources indicated that CP3 would much rather stay in Los Angeles, and that Howard still shows hesitation towards playing for his hometown team. Nevertheless, it is a fun hypothetical to think about between now and the start of the free agency period.

The Atlanta Hawks have their new head coach in Mike Budenholzer, bringing them a step closer to completing what’s sure to be a drawn-out and tough rebuilding process this summer. Budenholzer spent 16 years as an assistant coach under esteemed, transcendent head coach Gregg Popovich in San Antonio, and has often been dubbed his successor. One thing to keep in mind is that this will be Budenhozler’s first take as a head coach in the NBA, and after reading Jared Dubin’s research into tenured and first-time coaches hired in the past 17 seasons, it’s this aspect I want to focus on when talking about the hiring.

In Dubin’s Grantland post, he combs out the average winning percentages of hired coaches that are either of previous experience or are rookies in three categories:

coachinghires

Notice the edge first-time head coaches have in winning percentage over their entire tenure. Dubin provided great insight with these statistics, and I’d like to add on with some theories as to why freshman head coaches bode so well down the line with their teams. Continue Reading…

We will be going live at 1PM to discuss the last series against the Pacers, the current search for a head coach, and of course, free agency!

The Hawks could have anywhere from $30-40 million in cap space this summer. While this class doesn’t exactly have the strength of the 2014 class (ahem, the LeBron class), there are some good pickups the Hawks could make to become a contender.

Here’s the top ten potential free agents in order of priority I would have if I was general manager Danny Ferry.

1. Chris Paul
In my opinion, the best free agent of the class by far. Paul finished third this season in win shares (per Basketball-Reference) and Player Efficiency Rating (PER), behind only LeBron and Kevin Durant in both. CP3’s season is already over after the Clippers lost to Memphis in the first round, which slightly piqued my interest in how available he may be to leave Los Angeles. However, I still believe that the Clippers are going to give him too much power in pure roster decisions and too much money for the Hawks to be able to match. Atlanta will be able to offer around four years, $80 million, which is almost $30 million less than what the Clippers can give. In the end, it will likely come down to which team Paul feels has a better chance at winning a title.

2. Dwight Howard
I don’t think there is a chance that Dwight comes to Atlanta, but Ferry might as well try, right? Despite playing all season with a myriad of injuries, Dwight still managed to average 17.1 points and a league-leading 12.4 rebounds per game. For the entire season, he wasn’t the defender that we all remember him being, but he did start to look like his former self towards the end of the year. The number one issue most Hawks fans would have with this would be Dwight’s enigmatic personality, but for me, it is more of an issue of cap space; the Hawks would likely have to re-sign Josh Smith to have Howard sign here, which would likely use all of the team’s cap. As strong as a Smith-Horford-Howard frontcourt would be, they would still need some money to fill out the roster with capable players in order to challenge Miami.

3. Andre Iguodala, ETO
Iggy has an opt-out with the Nuggets, which is something that most believe he will exercise; Continue Reading…