Archives For Derrick Rose

Dennis Schroder: The Finisher

Eric Yeboah —  January 27, 2017

Kyrie Irving, Derrick Rose, Tony Parker, and Steph Curry maybe some of names blurted out when asked to name some of the best finishers at the point guard position. Rightfully so, as those individuals have each carved out their own niche whether it’s Irving’s ambidextrous finishes, Parker’s floater, Curry’s high layups off the glass or Rose’s body bending layups through contact.

Dennis Schroder’s name still remains mostly forgotten in this category, which may change by the end of his first year as a full-time starter. Tuning into a Hawks game, you may be drawn to four time All Star Paul Millsap’s scoring prowess, but this motion offense doesn’t work without Schroder’s penetration and finishing ability.His teammates have consistently echoed that sentiment all throughout this year that this team is much more dangerous when he’s attacking putting pressure on both the defense and the rim. The numbers don’t lie, when Schroder scores 23 points or more the Hawks are 10-2. In those twelve games he went for 31 against Westbrook, 27 against Derrick Rose, 28 against the Golden State killer that is Kyrie Irving and 24 a piece facing Steph Curry and Kyle Lowry.

In every one of those elite matchups he showed not only the ability to go toe to toe with some of the best, not only did he show improvement in his midrange jump shot; but sent a message that he can get to the rim with ease at the same level as those big names.

“I don’t really care what people say,” said Schroder when referring to being an overlooked finisher. “I am just trying to prove to my teammates every time we go out there and win games. Everything else will come, people will then talk about it, when we keep winning, people will keep watching us then everything will profit off of that.”

Coming out of the NBA Draft, the Rondo comparisons appeared valid due to his pass first mentality, defensive presence and lack of shooting; but more than anything was the way he found creases in the defense to slither his way through for a finish as quick as lightning. He’s not an elite athlete by any stretch, but what he does possess is a lethal first step, long arms and big hands. Those attributes have assisted in his current 55.3-percent conversion rate on layups, by far the highest of his career. Hidden in that number is his exceptional ability at understanding the amount of time he has in certain situations to release his shot given the type of defender attempting to contest his tries, and all of that came with time and practice.

“My first year I had to figure out how I would finish because there are so many big guys blocking my shots,” said Schroder. “So I had to adjust and see how I could finish without people blocking my shots. I started working more with the coaches, watching little guards in the league like Tony Parker and Rondo really taught me a lot.”

These series of plays highlight Schroder’s ability to use that quickness to create an opening to the lane then use his IQ to gauge just how much or how little time he has to release his shot. You will also notice how he extends his body as he attempts the layup to create enough separation between him and his defender.

Understanding his defender seems to come natural to Schroder, and when you comprehend given scenarios, you then produce plethora of finishes. Particularly someone of his stature with long arms should use the scoop layups and high floating bankers to his advantage, because defenders have no choice but to either foul trying to contest or give up an easy bucket.

All of the best finishers in the league use it, but what I think sets Schroder apart is his ability to consistently convert off either foot or hand, meaning he he can finish taking off on his right leg with his left hand or finish using one side of the body on either side of the rim. In other words, he’s uncanny, unpredictable; but that’s what makes a great finisher great. That is what made Nate Archibald, Rod Strickland, Kevin Johnson and Allen Iverson special and worth the ticket. Those guys played the glass so well and Schroder does the same whether he is on balance or not.

These series of plays highlight Schroder’s ability to score off balance as well as properly place the ball on the glass at all sorts of angles using either hand. Additionally, you can see how effective his misdirection dribble move is and how it helps accelerate him into the paint.

This season, Schroder’s three ball has improved and he’s taking the mid range pull up more confidently than he ever has. Nuzzled in all of this progress, we may have forgotten how lethal he is at getting to the basket. His finishes may or may not wow you like the rest of the bunch that I named earlier, but what they will do is force you to respect his craft, his style, his way.

“I don’t think he is overlooked compared to those other big names because those guys are really good,” said teammate Kent Bazemore on where Schroder ranks among the best finishers at his position. “But I do think in time he will be regarded as one of the best.”

Jesse D. Garrabrant/NBAE/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks won a nail-biter against the New York Knicks on Martin Luther King Day, 108-107 the final score at MSG. Carmelo Anthony led the way for the Knicks with 30 points (including two end of quarter buzzer-beaters) while Derrick Rose added 18 points.

A close encounter

What a game this was. Both teams played decent games, missing key players (Kristaps Porzingis and Lance Thomas out for the Knicks, Dwight Howard and Mike Muscala out for the Hawks) on the second night of a back-to-back (New York in action yesterday against the Raptors on the road while the Hawks faced the Bucks yesterday in Atlanta) and it was a tight affair for pretty much the whole game. No team led by more than eight points at any stage in a game that saw the game 20 lead changes and 14 game ties.

It was looking a little hairy for the Hawks in the final quarter, the Knicks began the final period on a 10-0 run to take a five point lead. The two teams went back and forth and the Knicks found themselves up five with just over 3 minutes remaining, but Tim Hardaway Jr. hit a big three-pointer to cut the Knick lead to just two points. Following a nice runner from Derrick Rose, the Knicks led 107-105 with just 43 seconds left. The Hawks didn’t panic, ran their offense and it ended — with the shot clock and the game, for that matter (since the Hawks would’ve had to have fouled if this missed), winding down — with a three-pointer from Dennis Schröder to put the Hawks up 108-107 with 22 seconds remaining.

Continue Reading…

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

Scott Cunningham/NBAE/Getty Images

The Atlanta Hawks won their first overtime game since the March 18th 2014 as they outlasted the New York Knicks in overtime, 102-98. In what was an ugly affair to watch at times, the Hawks evened up the season series with the Knicks 1-1 and the victory lifts the Hawks back to .500 at 16-16. Derrick Rose led the way for the Knicks with 26 points while Kristaps Porzingis added 24 points.

An ugly game but Hawks get it done… eventually

While this was a closely contested and chippy game (no team led by more than eight points while four technical fouls and two flagrant fouls were issued) it was certainly not a pretty game. Both teams shot below 40% (37% for the Knicks, 36% for Atlanta) and both shot 7-of-27 from behind the arc. But those numbers don’t do this game justice, it was ugly to watch.

“It was scrappy. We did a lot of good things on the floor. The defense was pretty good down the stretch. We have to continue to get better.” — Dwight Howard

But the bottom line is the Hawks got this one done, snapping a long streak of losing in overtime. I want to look at the last possession of regulation, because the Hawks had the opportunity to win this game in regulation. Let’s take a look at it first.

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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…

Hawks Outlast Bulls for 17th Win

Bo Churney —  December 15, 2014

After having their nine-game win streak broken in Orlando, the Hawks were able to rebound (figuratively, not literally; the were outrebounded 57-40) against Derrick Rose and the Chicago Bulls with a scrappy 93-86 win.

The Hawks were led by Al Horford, who had one of his best all-around games of the season. Horford tallied 21 points on 10-for-19 shooting, 10 rebounds, six assists, and two steals. It was Horford’s second 20-point/10-rebound game of the season. The six assists were a season-high for Horford, who appeared to take extra effort in trying to control the offense in the fourth quarter in order to try and keep Chicago’s defense on its heels.

“We talked about wanting to have great pace coming out tonight,” said Coach Budenholzer. “The first quarter, scoring 28 points against a really good defensive team… we got some baskets in transition. The one Al got sticks out. Paul’s sticks out to me. It probably ended up being the little bit of cushion that we needed, that allowed us to get the win.”

The Hawks received two solid performances off of the bench tonight, one being from Elton Brand. Brand only played 13 minutes, but he made his presence known, scoring eight points and loudly stuffing a shot attempt by Pau Gasol. Brand followed up that block with a jumper less than a minute later, which gave the Hawks a nine-point lead early in the game. Continue Reading…

In Mike Budenholzer’s first year as Hawks coach, he installed an offense based on passing, tempo, and spacing, very similar to the one he ran as the head assistant with the San Antonio Spurs. A lot was expected of this system, as Budenholzer had been Gregg Popovich’s right hand man for over a decade.

A catastrophe of injuries derailed what was expected to be a successful offensive display. Al Horford missed 53 games. His primary backup, Pero Antic, missed 21 games after Horford’s pectoral tear. Antic’s backup, Gustavo Ayon, suffered a season-ending shoulder injury not long after Antic’s injury. The most important sharpshooter in the league, Kyle Korver, missed 11 games, over which the Hawks amassed a record of one win and ten losses. DeMarre Carroll, the team’s most important defender on the wing, missed nine games after Horford’s injury, of which the Hawks lost eight.

If all of that was not bad enough, Paul Millsap — an All-Star of the 2013-14 season — also missed some time. Millsap’s absence was amplified by occurring during the stretch where Horford, Antic, and Ayon were also out. 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…

2012-13 Record: 45-37 (5th in East)z-bulls

Playoff Result: Lost in Second Round

Key Additions: Derrick Rose (from injury), Mike Dunleavy (free agency), Tony Snell (draft)

Key Losses: Nate Robinson (free agency), Marco Belinelli (free agency), Derrick Rose return date jokes

Projected 2013-14 Record: 54-28 (3rd in East)*

What to Expect: If there’s anything to expect from the Bulls, it’s lock-down, terrifyingly good defense. Derrick Rose, no Derrick Rose, Tom Thibodeau’s Bulls are an elite defensive team that makes a struggling Rose-less offense obsolete. Last year’s Bulls were 6th in DRTG per Basketball-Reference, the year before second and in 2011 first. But with Rose’s return this upcoming season, Jimmy Butler improving and Chicago adding a couple of floor-spacers, their stifling defense will likely now be backed up with a very star-driven offense – making for a scary prospect.

It would be unjust to say this team won’t be contending this season, with no real glaring flaws to be addressed. Spacing issues aren’t nearly as drastic as they once were with this team. The returning Rose has no rust to shake off, as far as we’ve seen in the pre-season. There are health questions, with Noah and Rose both with their fair share of injuries in recent years, but a lot of which are isolated incidents and in reality it could happen to any team. Continue Reading…